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Showing posts from September, 2013

Flashback Friday: Sardis Sunflowers

(From November 2008) - I love sunflowers. So when I found some blooming in Sardis Cemetery, I had to photograph them. One particular plot -- Charles H. and Mary Ann Jones Johnson -- was covered with them. Here's a question: were they put there for a reason? Are these sunflowers symbolism? Let's start with the photos:




Now, as much as I love cemeteries, I don't have a large library on the subject. I do have a few books, though, dealing with symbolism and southern cemetery symbolism. In only one book, Douglas Keister's Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography, did I find mention of sunflowers in cemeteries. He was referring to a sunflower carved into a gravestone. They signify devotion to the Catholic Church.

This would seem to strike down the theory of symbolism in this case. Sardis Cemetery is attached to a Primitive Baptist Church. I did go looking online as well, and come across "Gravestone Symbolism" at Grave Addiction.…

Flashback Friday: God Forbids Her Longer Stay

(From June 2011) - Yesterday brought you a touching Tombstone Tuesday post about the five DUNLAP children resting in Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Lawrenceville, GA. Two of the little girls have epitaphs that I was able to pinpoint as being from a hymn written by Charles Wesley, entitled On the Death of a Child:

WHEREFORE should I make my moan,
Now the darling child is dead?
He to early rest is gone,
He to paradise is fled:
I shall go to him, but he
Never shall return to me.

God forbids his longer stay,
God recalls the precious loan,
God hath taken him away,
From my bosom to His own;
Surely what He wills is best,
Happy in His will I rest.

Faith cries out, It is the Lord!
Let Him do as seems Him good:
Be Thy holy name adored,
Take the gift awhile bestow’d,
Take the child, no longer mine,
Thine he is, for ever Thine.

Flashback Friday: In Hoc Signo Vinces

(From March 2010) - I came across this emblem during a recent visit to Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Georgia. It is one of the most detailed symbol of the Knights Templar I have seen. At the top is a knight's helmet. A cross in crown is on top of a Maltese cross with crossed swords behind it. Included is the motto In Hoc Signo Vinces, a Latin rendition of a Greek phrase meaning "in this you will conquer."

According to Wikipedia.org, the Knights Templar were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders. The organization existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages. It was officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church around 1129, became a favoured charity, and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades.

Today, the Knights Templar is "an international philanthropic chivalric order affiliated with Freema…

What I've Been Doing, and a Flashback Friday About Rocks

Some of you may have noticed I've been a little MIA lately. I haven't abandoned you, dear reader, I promise! What started out as an innocent attempt to rid myself of some paper clutter has turned into a much larger task. Though it is not really represented on the blog, I've been doing a lot of compilation work on Macon, Georgia's historic Rose Hill Cemetery. Transcribing obituaries, cataloguing photos, and the like. I'm up to more than 520 individuals in my Family Tree program. Rose Hill Cemetery contains thousands of graves, so I have a long way to go. What's exciting, though, is the number of obituaries that I have found regarding individuals that are not in the major databases, including Rose Hill's records online. I suspect these may belong to the many unmarked graves in the cemetery.

Since I'm still working on a pile of printed articles and obituaries, I thought I would at least throw in a Flashback Friday post here at Southern Graves. If …


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The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)