Tombstone Tuesday – Eizenkreuzen –
Burial crosses come in all shapes, sizes and composition. Meant to memorialize the dead and speed their transition to the afterlife, crosses grace cemeteries all over the United States.
The earliest grave markers were usually made of natural fieldstone, sometimes cairns, sometimes crosses. Wood, if available, was used if available, but because of its short lifespan, 50-100 years at best, few old examples survive. Sandstone, granite and marble followed as society put more importance on death rituals.
Style-wise, Latin crosses had a three-step base signifying the Holy Trinity. Celtic Crosses, sported a circle intersecting the upright and the crossbar. One theory is that the ring is a halo, or the sun. It is also thought that Irish monks combined the sun-god idea with the Christian cross to ease the transition for those of the old Irish religions. The crucifix, one of the most common types of cross, depicts the corpus or the body of Christ.
Tombstone Tuesday, continued