The cross can take many forms and the symbolic meanings and history of each type is very complex and elaborate. Many types of crosses are used as cemetery monuments, but in British Columbia, the four most often encountered as grave memorials are the Latin, Calvary, Celtic and rustic crosses.
Latin cross – The Latin cross is common in Roman Catholic cemeteries or Catholic sections of cemeteries. Standard flat cross made of wood, granite, marble or granite. Very susceptible to damage because the cross bar or shoulders can be easily broken.
Calvary cross – This is a Latin cross mounted on a three-tiered base. The three-block base stands for the Trinity or faith, hope and charity (Protestant) or faith, hope and love (Roman Catholic). A Calvary cross can be made of any material, ranging from wood to stone.
Celtic cross – The Celtic cross dates back to the Celtic cultures of England, as early as the 5th century. Very elaborate decoration, highly ornate in styling. The centre of the cross has a circular design that represents eternity. Almost always in granite or marble.
Rustic cross – This cross was a popular grave memorial in the 1920s and 1930s. The rustic appearance takes a form almost resembling wood. Almost always made of granite or marble, it may have a rough granite base.