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Stone Grave Crosses

The ancient tradition of stone grave crosses seems to be largely unknown to Orthodox today. The more familiar wooden crosses, which last a long time in the cold north or the dry Mediterranean, are difficult to maintain in our country’s wet climate. And the modern polished granite headstone is cold and alien to the ethos of Orthodoxy. Therefore, we feel there is good cause to revive the older tradition of simple handmade stone crosses. Such crosses can be affordably cut from slabs of natural cleft sandstone readily available from landscape suppliers. They can be simply carved with details and inscriptions, as the ancient ones were.

The above photographs show the wonderful diversity of simple stone crosses that can be seen throughout the Orthodox world. Our design is inspired by many of these, with their angular Byzantine cross shapes and simple V-groove carving. The stone slab is 60” tall and 20” wide. A height of 42” would project above the ground. We recommend natural-cleft Pennsylvania Bluestone, 2” thick, which is a pleasing grey color and extremely difficult to break.

These crosses are easy to make, but hard to transport. The cost depends upon whether there is a local stoneyard willing to cut out the stone and a local carver willing to do the inscription. If theses services are locally available, the cost for one of these grave crosses can be as little as $600. If it needs to be shipped a long distance, the cost may be much higher. We are happy to help with either option.

Please contact us about pricing, shipping, and custom design options. For those who want a more ‘refined’ cross, we can offer options such smooth-surfaced stone, elegant lettering, and an inlaid marble icon.