The Cemetery Gate

Bluejay – Charron Community Cemetery

The Bluejay – Charron Community Cemetery is located northeast of Atmore, Alberta which is near the junction of Highway 55 and Highway 63.

A Simple White Patriarchal Cross
A Simple White Patriarchal Cross

The cemetery is tidy and well-maintained. It also has a distinctive number of wooden “patriarchal”-style Christian crosses which have two crossbars as opposed to the far more common one crossbar or distinctive three crossbars of Eastern Orthodox crosses.

The meaning of the double crossbars is vague, with at least one source simply stating that the meaning is unknown. But Wikipedia covers as couple of theories:

Many symbolic interpretations of the double-cross have been put forth. One of them says that the first horizontal line symbolized the secular power and the other horizontal line the ecclesiastic power of Byzantine emperors. Also, that the first cross bar represents the death and the second cross the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

– “Patriarchal cross” – Wikipedia

It seems to me that local people must ascribe some meaning to this style of cross given that they’ve chosen to have their family members buried with this style of cross planted at the head of their graves. The symbol is common on coats of arms from Hungary, Russia, Lithuania, and Slovakia so perhaps the choice is simply following the customs from the “old country”.

Source: Patriarchal cross – Wikipedia



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  1. Thanks Glen. Although I visited a few years ago now, I do remember not being able to get enough shots of those essentially “home-made” wooden crosses. They seemed to me to be just more “authentic” somehow.

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