Walking through your local cemetery is always a peaceful way to spend time. Even if there are people around, they are always so reverently quiet. But as you walk along, you might notice the standards of a tombstone:
name of deceased
date of birth and death
What often gets overlooked, though, are the symbols which are also typically found on a person’s tombstone. I decided to search for a listing of the meanings of various symbols found on a tombstone and share them with you so that next time you find yourself in a cemetary or graveyard and notice these symbols, you’ll be a little more enlightened about their meanings.
- anchor/ship – hope or seafaring profession
- arrows – mortality
- broken column – early death, grief, loss of the head of the family
- caterpillar – time or metamorphosis
- column – noble life
- dove – innocence, gentleness, affection, purity
- eye – humility
- frog – worldly pleasure, sin
- grim reaper – inevitibility of death
- handshakes – farewell
- orb – faith
- rope circle – eternity
- shepherd’s crook – charity
- sun setting – death
- winged effigies – flight of the soul
The full list from which these were taken can be found at this website.
That was extremely interesting. It’s blogs like this that make all this wordpress stuff worthwhile. Thanks.
There is a beautiful cemetery in Cambridge, MA that is actually a historical landmark. Many of the designs you mention here can be seen on the headstones and memorials there. http://www.mtauburn.org.
aka… the symbols and artwork that I found are pretty universal, but each cemetery will add its own flavour to the standards.