Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Theresa M. Schultz, wise and ready

Visit a cemetery with 19th-century gravestones and you will likely see plenty of hands. Clasped hands, pointing hands, hands holding flowers, hands holding books. The hand on the gravestone for Theresa M. Schultz (d. 1869) is holding a cross.


THERESA M.
WIFE OF
PETER SCHULTZ.
DIED
AUG. 9, 1869
AGED 82 Y’S
1 MO. 20 D’S.

Why should we weep for her
was she not ready:
Oil in her lamp and her bridal
robes on
Waiting in faith with a hope
firm and steady
The good Shepherd’s call and
the plaudit well done.



This epitaph is a tough one. There are records of it in other cemeteries, but the literary source eludes me.

There is rest in heaven
Whatever the source of the precise phrasing, the epitaph appears to be a reference to The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25), assuring all who pass by that Mrs. Schultz was wise—and ready.


Mayfield Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio


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