A stroll around your local cemetery is something enjoyed by many but the hidden stories there are often overlooked, particularly in older cemeteries and graveyards.
Looking at the graves and headstones may shed light on the people laid to rest and the kind of lives they lead. If you know a little about the symbolism of the cemetery you too will see messages left behind by those long departed.
In this, the first of a series about the secret symbolism hidden in the cemetery we talk about:-
The Pointing Finger
When you see the image of a hand pointing up toward the heavens this denotes a body which may rest beneath the ground with a soul which has ascended to heaven, rewarded for a life well lived.
The hand on the gravestone may be shown from the front (as seen in the photo above) or from the back.
You may sometimes see a downward pointing finger on a gravestone;
If you see a hand pointing toward the ground you might think this means it is the grave or a wicked person whose soul is bound for hell but this is unlikely. The downward pointing hand is usually symbolic of the hand of God calling the deserving departed to his side in heaven.
NOTE: As with most things symbolic, the true meaning of symbols found on graves and headstones are always open to interpretation. Wherever possible I attempt to highlight the most plausible, most interesting, or most widely accepted explanation.
© Colin Lawson Books