We end the month of Scottish graveyards with a post about a grave slab that has long fascinated me. It is situated not in a graveyard, but outside the crypt in the basement of Rosslyn Chapel. The gravestone depicts the Dance of Death.
Barely visible on the left side of the slab are the words Omnia mors aequat which translates to “Death equals all things”. Standing on the far left is a crowned skeleton holding a scythe (the large, handled blade). The scythe is a symbol used by ancient grave keepers to maintain the lands between life and the afterlife. It is also a symbol of death. The crowned skeleton is referred to as the King of Terrors (or the King of Death). We would generally refer to him as the Grim Reaper.
Next, we see a naked pauper who is raised up to be the same height as the King who is sitting on his throne. This shows us that death is the great equalizer. Death is coming for us all, regardless of our status in life.
November is National Family Stories month. Join me as I post about how you can discover, write and preserve the stories in your family history.