Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Eve in God's Acre

Yesterday, the day before Easter, my family braved the chill and wind to fulfill our yearly ritual of cleaning gravestones and placing flowers on graves of family members buried in God's Acre in Old Salem and the adjacent Salem Cemetary.

Unfortunately, because of the unusual coldsnap this year, some flowers probably died last night, and some were already wilting yesterday. A few people may have even decided to skip flowers this year. And yet, God's Acre is still a beautiful site at Easter anyway.

So, I decided to take a few pictures. You can click on each picture to see a much bigger version.

Lower Section of God's Acre (in Old Salem)

Old Salem is very close to downtown Winston-Salem, so you can see some of the skyline in the background. The white, round-top building is the Wachovia Center. The roundness of the building's top is inspired by an arch, a shape utilitized on many Moravian churches. I'm not sure I've seen it before, but I've read that a marble mosaic in the building's lobby is inspired by the Moravian Star, a prevalent decoration seen during Christmas.

In the background of the photo below, you can see the back of one of the buildings in Old Salem. I believe the rear of the building is an expansion since it looks so new. You can also see a parking lot used by Salem College, which is also located in Old Salem.

Upper Section of God's Acre (much, much older graves)

Salem Cemetary (right next to God's Acre)

In the photo above, you can see how close the public Salem Cemetary is to the Moravian graveyard God's Acre. Moravians use a standard, plain white, rectangular gravestone, and arrange the dead by age and gender. In Salem Cemetary, you'll find gravestones of all different sizes and shapes, including above-ground crypts. There are, however, some Moravians buried in Salem Cemetary, and many of them use the standard Moravian gravestone, including several of my family buried there.

Graves of Family Members

My grandmother, "Mama Reid." She and my grandfather are buried, practically in opposite corners, in the lower section of God's Acre.

My grandfather.

My great great grandmother, buried in the older, upper section of God's Acre.

My great grandmother, "Nana Land." She, my great aunt, my great grand father, and my two great uncles are all buried adjacent to each other in Salem Cemetary. Three out of the five still use the standard Moravian gravestone. My two great uncles have gravestones that look similar but are smaller versions to the standard Moravian stone.

My great aunt, Barbara.

My great grandfather.

My great uncles.

1 comment:

Betty Clark said...

Thanks for sharing these. Beautiful.