Field Guide

Grapes

Grapes and grape clusters represent the Eucharistic wine, which is a symbol of the blood of Christ. Grapes, of course, are made into wine. This transformation has long been a symbol for the changing of Christ's blood into wine (food) for the flock. On tombstones, sometimes bunches of grapes are combined with ears of wheat. This wine-and-bread combination is intended to represent Holy Communion. (1)

Grapes and grapevines: Life, redemption, salvation, sacrifice, Eucharistic wine, the blood of Christ, the Old Testament or an emblem of God's blessing. They are most commonly used in the borders (of headstones) often with wheat, corn, gourds or squash. (2)

(1) Taken from Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography written and photographed by Douglas Keister, published by Gibbs Smith, Salt Lake City, 2004.

(2) Taken from Our History In Stone: The New England Cemetery Dictionary by Christina Eriquez, published by Sinematix, Brookfield, CT, 2009.