Many times, tombstones in cemeteries have patterns or symbols carved on them. These symbols are used to have meaning or pass on messages to the people who visit that deceased (dead) person. Next time you visit a cemetery, see if you recognize any of these symbols. Click here if you would like to see a bigger list of symbols in cemeteries.
Below is a list of some symbols found on tombstones. Can you guess what each of the symbols means?
Birds, especially in flight, represent the flight of the soul to the afterlife.
The cross has been an early symbol for Christ and his sacrifice.
A heart can symbolize many things, especially love. Whether love of God or someone else, the heart shows devotion to something or someone.
The evergreen leaves of the ivy represent immortality.
The lamb represents the Redeemer, Christ in the Christian religion. The lamb can also represent innocence and virtue.
The rose is an ancient symbol of love and beauty often representing female figures such as Venus or the Virgin Mary. It is also a symbol for perfection.
The snake is an ancient symbol for everlasting life. Snakes were thought to cheat death and gain vigor by shedding their skins.
A rising sun symbolizes new life or the resurrection in the afterlife. A setting sun represents death. A sun shining brightly is a symbol of everlasting life.
Wheat represents the divine harvest, the taking of humanity by God. It can also represent the long and fruitful life enjoyed by the deceased.