Grave Symbols

Anchor/Ships — Hope or Seafaring profession

Angel, Flying – Rebirth; Resurrection.

Angel, Trumpeting – Resurrection.

Angel, Weeping – Grief and Mourning.

Arch – Victory in death.

Arrow – Mortality.

Bird – Eternal life.

Bird, Flying– Resurrection.

Book – Representation of a holy book: i.e. the Bible.

A pair of Holy Books on Mormom (LDS) headstones indicates the Bibleand Book of Mormon

Three Holy Books on Mormom headstones indicates the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine & Covenants — all of which are scripture to the LDS Church.

Breasts (Gourds, Pomegranates) – Nourishment of the soul; the church.

Bouquets/Flowers — Condolences, grief, sorrow

Broken Column — Loss of Head of Family

Broken Ring — Family Circle Severed

Buds/Rosebud — Morning of Life or Renewal of Life

Bugles — Resurrection and the Military

Butterfly — Short-lived – Early Death

Candle being Snuffed — Time, mortality

Cherub — Angelic

Coffin, Father Time, Picks/Shovels, Darts — Mortality

Columns and Doors – Heavenly entrance.

Corn — Ripe Old Age

Cross — Emblem of Faith

Crossed Swords — High-ranking military person

Crown – Glory of life after death.

Cup or Chalice – The Sacraments.

Dobe – Purity; Devotion.

Dove, Flying – Resurrection.

Drapes – Mourning; Mortality.

Flame or Light – Life; Resurrection.

Flower – Fragility of life.

Flower, Severed Stem – Shortened life.

Flying Birds — Flight of the Soul

Fruits — Eternal plenty

Full-Blown Rose — Prime of Life

Garland or Wreath – Victory in death.

Grim Reaper – Death personified.

Hand, Pointing Up – Pathway to heaven; Heavenly reward.

Hands, Clapsed – The goodbyes said at death.

Hand of God Chopping — Sudden Death

Handshakes — Farewell

Harp — Praise to the Maker

Heart – Love; Love of God; Abode of the soul; Mortality.

Horns — The Resurrection

Hourglass – Passing of time.

Hourglass, Flying– Time flies.

Imps — Mortality

Ivy — Friendship and Immortality

Lamb – Innocence.

Laurel — Fame or Victory

Lily or Lily of Valley — Emblem of Innocence and Purity

Lion – Courage; The Lion of Judah.

Morning Glory — Beginning of Life

Oak Leaves and Acorn — Maturity, Ripe Old Age

Open Book/ Bible — Deceased Teacher, Minister, etc.

Pall – Mortality.

Palm Branch — Signifies Victory and Rejoicing

Pick – Death; Mortality.

Poppy — Sleep

Portals — Passageway to eternal journey

Rod or Staff– Comfort for the bereaved.

Rooster– Awakening; Resurrection.

Roses — Brevity of earthly existence

Scythe– Death; The divine harvest.

Seashell– Resurrection; Life everlasting; Life’s pilgrimage.

Sheaf of Wheat — Ripe for Harvest, Divine Harvest, Time

Skull– Mortality.

Skull/ Crossed Bones– Death.

Skeleton– Life’s brevity.

Snake (Tail in Mouth)- Everlasting life in heaven.

Spade– Mortality; Death.

Stars and Stripes Around Eagle — Eternal Vigilance, Liberty

Sun Rising– Renewed life.

Sun Shining-Life everlasting.

Sun Setting– Death.

Thistle– Scottish descent.

Thistles — Remembrance

Tombs — Mortality

Torch Inverted — Life Extinct

Tree– Life.

Tree Sprouting– Life everlasting.

Severed Branch– Mortality.

Tree Stump– Life interrupted.

Tree Stump w/Ivy — Head of Family – Immortality

Tree Trunk– Brevity of life.

Tree Trunk Leaning– Short interrupted life.

Trumpeters — Heralds of the Resurrection

Urn– Immortality (ancient Egyptian belief that life would be restored in the future through the vital organs placed in the urn).

Urn with /Wreath or Crepe — Mourning

Urn with Blaze — Undying Friendship

Weeping Willow Tree– Mourning; Grief; Nature’s lament.

Willows — Earthly Sorrow

Winged Face– Effigy of the deceased soul; the soul in flight.

Winged Skull– Flight of the soul from mortal man.

Wreath– Victory.

Wreath on Skull– Victory of death over life.

Wheat Strands or Sheaves– The divine harvest



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