We were both so busy over Memorial Day weekend at different cemeteries and with our families that we did not have time to finish our research for the planned episode this week. However, we have a very special return guest with a fascinating story joining us next week and we will be able to return to our regularly scheduled program! We humbly apologize and we thank you for sticking with us on all of our Ordinary Extraordinary Cemetery journeys. Until we meet again!
April 4, 2023

Of Flowers and Grave Markers: The Symbolic Meanings of Flowers on Headstones

Of Flowers and Grave Markers: The Symbolic Meanings of Flowers on Headstones

Spring is a season of new beginnings and renewal, and it is no surprise that it is also a time when we think of flowers. Flowers have been used to honor the dead for centuries, and their meanings and symbolism are deeply embedded in our cultural history. The Victorians, in particular, were known for their elaborate use of flowers and floral arrangements, especially on tombstones and other monuments.

Here are five flowers commonly found on headstones and their symbolic meanings:

*Buds - Often found on graves of children, buds usually represent a life ended much too soon. The stems are often broken to symbolize an early death. Many types of buds can be found, but rosebuds are the most common. They can also be found on the graves of young women who died virgins.


*Lily - Associated with beauty, purity, and rebirth, the lily is often used on graves of unmarried women or on graves of couples, as they are also a symbol of marriage. The lily is often used to represent the Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph is often depicted holding lilies to show his connection to her.

*Ivy - Although not a flower, ivy is often found on grave markers. It symbolizes everlasting life, fidelity, loyalty, and devotion. Ivy is not only carved into tombs but is also often planted near tombs.

*Roses - Symbolizing beauty and love, roses are often grouped in even numbers to symbolize grief and mourning in Italian tradition. In Christianity, they are also a symbol of martyrdom. Roses can be found on many types of graves, including those of children, adults, and couples.

As we begin to enjoy the beauty of spring and the blooming of new life, let us also remember the symbolic meanings of these flowers and perhaps create new meanings that bring us peace and joy in nature's beauty.


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