Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Funerary Design Components

Wondering what to put on your monument?


In most cases you will have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death sandblasted or etched on the monument, along with a personal message or prayer. You may also consider adding pieces of funerary art, to add even more personalization to the granite. Many people also like to inset a photograph of the deceased in a brass or bronze frame.

Monuments usually sit as "uprights" with heart-shaped, rounded, gabled, square or other shaped tops. Decorating with memento mori (symbolic reminders of death) such as skulls or winged skulls, winged cherub heads, and heavenly crowns began sometime in the 18th century. Throughout the years, more elaborate allegorical figures were added, such as Old Father Time, or emblems of trade or status, or even important life events of the deceased, including how they may have passed.

Sandblasted and etched components (also called "emblems") are often used on upright and flat monuments in today's cemeteries. These emblems indicate recurring themes in both faith and life.

Here are a few Examples:
  • Anchor - Steadfast hope
  • Angel of grief - Sorrow
  • Arch - Rejoined with partner in Heaven
  • Birds - The soul
  • Book - Faith, wisdom
  • Cherub - Divine wisdom or justice
  • Column - Noble life
  • Cross, anchor and Bible - Trials, victory and reward
  • Crown - Reward and glory
  • Dove - Purity, love and Holy Spirit
  • Hands - A relation or partnership
  • Heart - Devotion
  • Hourglass - Time and its swift flight
  • Ivy - Faithfulness, memory, and undying friendship
  • Lamb - Innocence
  • Lamp - Immortality
  • Laurel - Victory, fame
  • Lily - Purity and resurrection
  • Oak - Strength
  • Olive branch - Forgiveness, and peace
  • Palms - Martyrdom, or victory over death
  • Peacock - Eternal life
  • Pillow - a deathbed, eternal sleep


Greek letters and abbreviations may also be used:
  • \alpha \omega (alpha and omega) - The beginning and the end
  • \chi \rho (chi rho) - The first letters spelling the name of Christ
  • IHS - Stylized version of iota-eta-sigma, a Greek abbreviation of Jesus
For more information, please contact our marketing department to access our entire 204 page Component Catalog.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Flat Grass Markers and Grave Stones

Originally, a tombstone was the stone lid of a stone coffin, or the coffin itself, and a gravestone was the stone slab that was laid over a grave. Now all three terms are used for markers placed at the head of the grave. Some graves also contain footstones to mark the end of the grave. Sometimes full sections of granite coping are coordinated with the marker to outline the entire perimeter of the grave or family plot. If footstones are used, they are rarely inscribed with more than the deceased's initials and year of death, or sometimes they reference the cemetery plot number. In some UK cemeteries, the only grave marker is placed at the foot of the grave.

A cemetery may follow national codes of practice or independently prescribe the size and use of certain materials, especially in a conservation area. Others may require stones of a certain shape or position to facilitate grass-cutting by mower. Granite, marble and other kinds of stone are usually created, installed, and repaired by monumental masons. Cemeteries suggest regular inspections and maintenance, as stones may settle and become uneven or may simply become overgrown and lost or vandalized.

The information on the marker generally includes the name of the deceased and their date of birth and death. Such information can be useful to genealogists and local historians and future generations of family. Larger cemeteries may require a discreet reference code as well to help accurately fix the location for maintenance.

Many different designs and granite colors are available for grass markers. Vases, ceramic portraits, bronze embellishments, laser etching and colored litho can be used depending on the final design. They are available in various thicknesses and with multiple finishing options. Families can also purchase special cremation containers and bury the cremains under the marker itself-making these a great choice for burial or cremation.