Tombstone Tuesday-Luther Rose Symbol

The image on these tombstones is the Luther Rose, the symbol for Lutheranism. The seal was designed by Martin Luther in 1516 and it symbolizes the basic elements of Christian theology.

Luther Rose, West Lawn Cemetery, Baltic, Tuscarawas County, Ohio (2022 photo by Karen)

Luther Rose, West Lawn Cemetery, Baltic, Tuscarawas County, Ohio (2022 photo by Karen)

This Luther Rose is on one of our stained glass windows at Zion Lutheran, Chatt:

Luther Rose in stained glass.

Luther Rose:

Luther Rose

The meaning of the Luther Rose seal with portions of Luther’s description of the seal to a friend, Martin Luther, from the wilderness of Koburg Castle, 8 July 1530:

The center of the seal is a black cross in a red heart, “…so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us…a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural color…it does not kill but keeps alive…”

“…Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace…it places the believer into a white, joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives…for white [not red] is the color of the spirits and the angels…”

“…Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed.”

“And around this field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in Heaven lasts forever and has no end. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most valuable, most precious and best metal…”

This Luther Rose is hand painted in Zion Chatt’s sanctuary:

Hand-painted Luther Rose

Another example, with Luther’s confession that we are saved by Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Word Alone:

Luther Rose

What a meaningful and beautiful symbol for a tombstone.

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