Common Gravestone Icons and Symbols

haworthcemetaryparsonageThese are some of the most common and defined icons you may encounter in a cemetery or graveyard (source unknown).

  • Anchor – Hope (Hope is the anchor of the soul).
  • Angel – Messenger between God and man; guide.
  • Angel (flying) – rebirth.
  • Angel (trumpeting) – A call to resurrection.
  • Angel (weeping) – Grief.
  • Arrows or darts – Mortality, the dart of death.
  • Birds – The soul.
  • Coffins – Mortality.
  • Column (broken) – Sorrow, life cut short.
  • Cross – Salvation.
  • Dove – Holy Ghost.
  • Father Time – Mortality.
  • Flame (burning) – Life.
  • Flower – The frailty of life.
  • Flower (broken) – Death.
  • Garland – Victory in death.
  • Gourds – The coming to be and the passing away of earthly matters; the mortal body.
  • Hand (pointing upward) – Ascension to heaven.
  • Handshake – Farewell to earthly existence.
  • Heart – The abode of the soul; love of Christ; the soul in bliss.
  • Ivy – Memory and fidelity.
  • Lamb – Christ the redeemer; meekness; sacrifice; innocence.
  • Laurel – Victory.
  • Lilly – Resurrection, purity.
  • Palls/drapery – Mortality.
  • Pomegranate – Immortality.
  • Portals – Passageways to the eternal journey.
  • Rose – Sorrow.
  • Scallop shell – The resurrection, a pilgrim’s journey, the baptism of Christ.
  • Scythe – Time or time cut short.
  • Skull (winged) – The flight of the soul from the mortal body.
  • Skulls and crossbones – Death.
  • Sun (rising) – Renewed life.
  • Sun (setting) – Eternal death.
  • Sword – Martyrdom, courage.
  • Torch (burning) – Immortality, truth, wisdom.
  • Urn – Mortality (a receptacle for the bodily remains).
  • Wheat – time; the divine harvest (often used to denote old age).
  • Willow – Grief.

 

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