Monday, April 25, 2011

Grave images: Pointing hands

Many gravestones from the 19th century feature carvings of hands: clasped hands, hands pointing up or down, hands holding flowers or books.

A hand with a finger pointing up is a reference to Heaven. But don’t jump to conclusions: A hand with a finger pointing down is not a reference to a less desirable destination, but rather a reference to the hand of God reaching down from Heaven.

In any case, the pointing hands convey the belief that the soul of the deceased now rests in Heaven.

John Webb, Fletcher Chapel Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio
John Thomas, Thomas Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
Sarah Woolley, Davis Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio
Ann Tremains, Candler Cemetery, Hardin County, Ohio


  1. There are so many lovely hand examples. I've been trying to tag mine to feature in groups.

  2. One of my favorites isn't here, because the photo is a tad fuzzy. It has an extremely long finger. Odd, but quite delicate!


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