The Eye of Providence

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death
Horseman, pass by
. W.B.Yeats

The eye represented on headstones is a gateway between this world and the next, and symbolizes the all-knowing God. The icon is a Freemasonry (Masonic) symbol.

Liverpool Cathedral. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7428687@N03/6772051681
Liverpool Cathedral. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7428687@N03/6772051681

The eye within the clouds is a very early Masonic symbol.

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When the eye is enclosed within a triangle it represents the Holy Trinity, and when also surrounded by a circle it symbolizes the eternity of the Holy Trinity.

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Radiating rays of light surrounding the eye, or the eye placed within a sunburst symbolizes the holiness of the true God.

21st gravely speaking

The sunburst eye is a reminder to Masons that their actions and deeds are observed as referenced in the Proverbs. (Prov. 5:21) ‘the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings’; and in (Prov. 13:3) ‘the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good’.

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The carving below shows the All Seeing Eye of God, two hands clasped in farewell, and a chain with a broken link which symbolizes the death of a family member.

tngenweb

The all-seeing eye symbol is also associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The letters F, L and T within the chain links stand for Friendship, Love, and Truth.

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This gravestone belongs to a member of the Orange Order reflected in the unusual iconography containing several symbols including the Eye of Providence.

milton evergreen

The snake is a symbol of everlasting life, the arch is the passageway to Heaven, and the 5 pointed star represents the spirit rising to Heaven. The fraction beneath the arch is an emblem used by the Orange Order.

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