19 December 2009

Grapes, Wheat & a Dive-Bombing Dove

This tombstone for Virginia Crook (d. 1859), located at Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia, contains several Christian symbols.


The cross and book (likely representing the Bible) is common enough, and the symbols widely known. The dove is also often seen and represents peace and purity. I learned something else about the dove when it is depicted as "dive-bombing" from Heaven -- it represents the Holy Ghost, as written in John 1:32-34 -

32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.
33 "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
34 "And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."

The other items I have not often seen are the grapes and wheat. Grapes alone could symbolize the blood of Christ. Wheat alone may depict immortality and resurrection. When the two are shown together, it is thought to represent wine, bread, and Holy Communion.

[Reference:
- Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism
- The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, New King James Version]

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