If you have ever visited a cemetery, you have probably noticed that many of the markers are made into similar shapes or bear many of the same symbols and markings. There is a secret language to gravestones that many people are unaware of. This lexicon may vary from region to region, and some symbols have evolved over the centuries. If you are curious about the symbolism found on many grave markers, read on for a basic guide of common symbols that you are likely to find in most cemeteries.
If you are interested in adding a decorative element to a marker or like the look of a symbol and would like to know what it means, this guide can help you determine if the symbol would be a welcome addition to a marker.
Tree or stump
A memorial in the shape of a tree or a stump can symbolize one of two things. Either the deceased was a Woodsmen of the world or a lumberjack, or the deceased died an early death. A stump or a tree with broken branches symbolizes that the deceased was cut down in the prime of their life.
While anchors are often found on the graves of sailors, they can also symbolize hope. If the deceased was a fan of sailing or yachting, this is also an appropriate symbol.
An angel symbolizes a guide to heaven. A cherub most often denotes a child.
Lambs symbolize a child. Often a small sculpture of a lamb is placed on top of the marker.
Urns symbolize a vessel for the soul. The urn can be depicted as a bas relief, a carving, or as a statue.
Arches symbolize the gateway to heaven. Many memorials or entrances to mausoleums involve an arch.
A cross denotes the deceased was a follower of Christianity.
Doves symbolize that the deceased is at peace.
Flowers have different meanings depending on what kind its is. Poppies symbolize eternal sleep, roses symbolize beauty, morning glories symbolize resurrection, sunflowers denote God, and tulips symbolize passionate eternal love.
These are the most common symbols that you will find in a cemetery. There are hundreds of other symbols available in more comprehensive guides. If you are planning a funeral or commissioning a memorial or marker, it's important to convey the proper message about the deceased through selecting the proper symbols to be added to the gravestone.
For more information, contact Hartman W A Memorials LLC or a similar location.