They are one of the most seen yet most mysterious of all headstone decorations – grapes. Yes, it’s yet another symbol of the graveyard. Today we talk about :-
Grapes, grape leaves and/or vines
When visiting your local graveyard, you are likely to come across headstones featuring grapes, grape leaves and/or grape vines (as shown below). So, what do these symbols represent?
Grapes have been linked to wealth and abundance since the dawn of time but on a headstone, grapes represent the blood of Christ as they are of course vital to the production of wine. Wine is used in communion services to represent the blood of Christ with a communion wafer or piece of bread being his body.
The leaves of the grape represent the hope of eternal life so their presence on a headstone indicates the soul of the departed is believed to be with God in the afterlife and will remain in heaven for eternity. Grape leaves are believed to also represent plenty, freedom, and renewal.
Historically, the vines of grapes were believed to keep away bad luck and aid fertility.
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