Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Memory Springs Eternal Too

St. James Episcopal Cemetery, Bristol, PA

This is a revival of a post from 2011 about eternal flames.  Since I've always had a thing for candles (including an incident where I was playing with a candle and set the living room rug on fire when I was 12), I really love the flames carved of stone that provide a permanent "light" over the graves of those gone before.  (Okay, I am sure you have questions:  I was told not to play with the candle, I did it anyway, it was a very small fire and it was a very ugly rug.  All in all, we got a nicer rug.)  It's rare that an eternal flame on a tombstone is atop a candle.  Usually, it's on an oil lamp, something the 21st century rarely uses these days.  But oil lamps and their gift of light were crucially important and have provided spiritual inspiration for centuries.
 
The eternal flame, a flame that burns day and night for an indefinite period, is found in many cultures, both ancient and current.   It is also known as a sanctuary lamp.   There are early Greek references to Persian “Great Fires,” and to an eternal flame attended to constantly by Zoroastrian priests.  Moses the Jewish prophet oversaw the construction of the first menorah in the tabernacle in the Jerusalem temple.  Later, when the Maccabees rebelled about 167 BC against the empire established by Alexander the Great, they reclaimed the temple in Jerusalem and rekindled the menorah’s eternal flame.  They only had enough oil for it to burn for one day, and it would take eight days to get more oil.  And yet, miraculously, the menorah’s flame kept burning until the new oil arrived.  This story is celebrated during Hanukkah.  The flame also symbolizes God’s eternal presence, which is never extinguished.
 
Christians also have an eternal flame, usually on the altar, for the practical purpose of worship at any time, but also for the symbolism of the light of Christ shining always in the dark.  The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has an eternal flame burning to honor the sacrifice of soldiers killed in the line of duty, and President John F. Kennedy’s grave features an eternal flame commemorating him, the first time this honor was given to one person.  (Information from Wikipedia.com)
 
Eternal flame symbols are common on graves in the 19th century, but continue even today, perhaps illustrating that the ones left behind will never forget their loved one who has gone before. 

Jordan UCC Cemetery, Walbert, PA

A modern oil lamp, Hillcrest Cemetery, Roslyn, PA

"It is well with the child," Old Tennent Presbyterian Cemetery, Malapan, NJ

Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

A lovely zinc, Zion's Stone Church Cemetery, New Ringgold, PA

Hillcrest Cemetery, Roslyn, PA

Aldenville Baptist Cemetery, Aldenville, PA

Arlington Cemetery, Upper Darby, PA

Catterson Cemetery, Sterling, PA

Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Centreville Cemetery, Stone Church, PA

Cold Spring Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Cold Spring, NJ

Wrought iron or cast iron fence, Cold Spring Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Cold Spring, NJ

More iron, Cold Spring Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Cold Spring, NJ

When the iron is no longer routinely painted, Cold Spring Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Cold Spring, NJ

More rusty ironwork, Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA

Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA

Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA

Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA

Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA

Delaware Cemetery, Dingmans Ferry, PA

Doylestown Cemetery, Doylestown, PA

Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA

Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, WV

Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, PA

Durham Cemetery, Durham, PA

Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA

Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Another modern oil lamp, Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Love this, with the broken tree beneath it, Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Pen Argyl, PA

I love to take the creepy photos, don't I?  Susquehanna Depot Cemetery, Susquehanna Depot, PA

Glen Dyberry Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

Another lovely zinc, Greenwood Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Greenwood Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Haupt Cemetery, Ambler, PA

Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

More ironwork, Church Hill Cemetery, Martins Creek, PA

Broken but still burning...Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Did I ever tell you how much I love Laurel Hill Cemetery??!!  Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

I prefer marble to granite, but granite does allow for great ornamentation, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Now THAT'S some ironwork!  Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

This is an odd one, like the volcano science project from 8th grade, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA


I've told you how much I love this place, right??!!  Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Middle Smithfield Cemetery, Middle Smithfield, PA

Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA

Ironwork, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ

Lovely ironwork, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ

Love the zincs, Neffs Union Cemetery, Neffs, PA

New Britain Baptist Church Cemetery, New Britain, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, East Greenville, PA

Newtown Cemetery, Newtown, PA

Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC 

Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC 

The eternal flame symbol was a very popular symbol in late 19th century iron fencing around family plots, Old Brick Reformed Church Cemetery, Freehold, NJ

Old Honesdale Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

Mockingbirds follow me all the time in cemeteries, Old Tennent Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Malapan, NJ

Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC

Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC

Passionflowers are a Christian symbol of the Crucifixion, Rosedale Cemetery, Montclair, NJ

Sandy Bank Cemetery, Spencers Corner, PA

South Montrose Cemetery, South Montrose, PA

St. James Episcopal Church Cemetery, Bristol, PA

St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Bryantown, MD


St. Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Sellersville, PA

St. Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Sellersville, PA

St. Paul's Cemetery, Stone Church, PA

St. Peter's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Lewes, DE

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lafayette Hill, PA

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lafayette Hill, PA

St. Peter's Union Cemetery, Hilltown, PA

Stroudsburg Cemetery, Stroudsburg, PA

Susquehanna Depot Cemetery, Susquehanna Depot, PA

Old Tennent Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Malapan, NJ

Old Tennent Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Malapan, NJ

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA



More ironwork, Old Brick Reformed Church Cemetery, Freehold, NJ

 Old Brick Reformed Church Cemetery, Freehold, NJ


Ahhhh...autumn is my favorite time for cemetery-hopping!  Zion's Stone Church Cemetery, New Ringgold, PA