I initially assumed that this was simply a reference to heaven but thought it might be interesting to start digging a little deeper. A quick online search reveals two great websites, Texas Gravestone Studies (TGS) and the Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS). It turns out that TGS is actually a state chapter for the larger, national AGS. And both of these groups are devoted to the “appreciation of the cultural significance of gravestones and burial grounds through their study and preservation.” So back to our topic at hand (oops, sorry for that pun), information on some of the different symbols that can be seen throughout the cemetery.
Hello again! With this entry, I want to continue with some of the wonderful symbolism to be found throughout Mt. Zion Cemetery. I so enjoyed my last venture and taking photos of all of the different symbols that adorn the gravestones and decided that this topic definitely deserves more attention AND what better time to dive into this than right before our upcoming event? So here goes.
When you wander around at Mt. Zion Cemetery, you will notice several with variations of a finger pointing upward.
Luckily for us, AGS has posted a list of the common symbols for the 19th Century and here are a few examples that are found at Mt. Zion:
The pointing finger - “gone home, until we meet again (in heaven), with Jesus, Jesus calls, heavenly sleep, departed, no longer on earth.”
The bible - religious faith.
Angels - “symbolic messengers between God and man.”
Gates - “portals to the promised land; entry into the kingdom of heaven.”
As with many things, especially in the area of historical research, the list is meant to offer possible meanings for the symbols and as Jessie Lie Ferber notes, “There is more than one interpretation for some symbols so interpretations must be used as possibilities, not certainties.”
So with this great list, I will continue to explore the symbols that can be found at Mt. Zion and hopefully unlock more and more of the mysteries at this wonderful historic treasure in our community!