Symbols
A - L

Acanthus Heavenly Gardens
Almond 1) Favor from God  
2) Virgin Birth
Alpha & Omega Beginning & End of All Things
Anchor/Ships 1) Hope  
2) “at rest”  
3) An early Christian symbol 
4) may signify mariner or seafaring profession  
5) life eternal
Angel 1) Agent of God  
2) Guardian of the Dead  
3) Guide/Messenger between God & Man  
4) Protection  
5) Guardian Angel  
6) Wisdom  
7) Mercy  
8) Divine Love  
9) Spirituality  
10) Heaven  
11) Journey from Earth to Heaven
Angel - Flying Rebirth/Resurrection
Angel - Trumpeting Call to the Resurrection
Angel - Weeping Grief
Ankh 1) Eternal life  
2) Peace  
3) Truth.
Ant Christian Industry
Anvil Martyrdom
Apple 1) Sin  
2) Eve
Arch 1) Victory in Death  
2) Being Rejoined With Partner in Heaven  
3) Passage to Heaven  
4) Triumphant entry
Ark of Noah 1) Refuge  
2) Salvation
Ark 1) Church  
2) Salvation
Armor Protection From Evil
Arrow 1) Mortality  
2) Martyrdom  
3) Mortality
Arrow Quiver Warlike
Axe, Steel knife and Cleaver. Butcher
Banner 1) Victory  
2) Triumph
Barber Bowl & Razor. Barber
Bats The Underworld
Battle-axe Martyrdom
Bed Deathbed (Sometimes only a pillow.)
Bee 1) Resurrection  
2) Risen Christ  
3) Chastity
Beehive 1) Domestic Virtues  
2)Education  
3) Faith  
4) Abundance in the Promised Land  
5) Piety
Bell Mourning
Bells Call to Worship
Bellflower Gratitude
Bible (one) Often Found on Christian Stones
Bibles 1) Resurrection Through the Scripture  
2) The Clergy
Bird(s) 1) Eternal Life  
2) Winged Soul  
3) Spirituality
Bird(s) - Flying 1) Eternal Life  
2) Resurrection  
3) Flight of the Soul Back to God  
4) Rebirth
Bones Death and Decay
Book 1) The Divine Word  
2) Resurrection Through the Scriptures  
3) One's Accomplishments Recorded in the Book of Life  
4) Bible  
5) Wisdom
Book w/ cross Faith
Books stacked Knowledge
Bouquet 1) Condolences  
2) Grief  
3) Sorrow  
4) The Shortness of Life
Branch, severed Mortality
Breasts 1) The Divine  
2) Nourishing Fluid/Nourishment of the Soul
3) The church/ministry
Broken Column 1) Decay  
2) Early Death  
3) Grief  
4) Loss of the Family Head
Draped column 1) Early Death  
2) Grief
Broken Ring Family Circle Severed
Bud 1) Renewal of Life  
2) Young Soul
Bud, broken or cut Often Used on a Child's Grave
Bud/Rosebud Morning/Renewal of life
Bugles 1) Resurrection  
2) Military
Burning Flame 1) Life  
2) Resurrection.
Butterfly 1) Short-Lived  
2) Early Death  
3) Resurrection  
4) Christian Metamorphosis
Calla Lily 1) Majestic Beauty  
2) Marriage.
Candle being Snuffed 1) Time  
2) Mortality  
3) Loss of Life
Candle (or Candle flame) Life
Candlestick 1) Christ  
2) Devotion
Caterpillar 1) Life  
2) Metamorphosis.
Cedar 1) Strong Faith  
2) Length of Days  
3) Success
Celtic Cross (sometimes w/ a circle on it) 1) Faith  
2) Eternity
Chain w/ Three Links 1) Trinity  
2) Faith  
3) Odd Fellows
Chalice Sacraments
Cherub 1) Angelic  
2) Innocence
Chi Rho and Alpha Omega Christ as the "Beginning and the End."
Child - Sleeping Victorian death motif
Chrysalis 1) Christian Metamorphosis  
2) Resurrection
Circle 1) Eternity  
2) Life Never-Ending  
3) Earth
Clock 1) Passage of Time  
2) Mortality
Clouds 1) Divine Abode/Heaven  
2) Vehicle of Christ
Coats of Arms/Crests 1) Lineage  
2) Status
Cock(s) 1) Vigilance  
2) St. Peter  
3) Awakening to Resurrection  4)
Cocks & Peacocks 1) Vanity  
2) Falling From Grace  
3) Awakening to Repentence
Coffin 1) Mortality  
2) Symbol of Dying
Column 1) Noble life  
2) Mortality
Column - Draped Mourning of the Passage of Life
Column - Broken 1) Sorrow  
2) Broken Life  
3) Mortality
Columns - w/ doors Heavenly Entrance
Conch Shell 1) Wisdom  
2) Reincarnation
Corn Ripe Old Age
Coulter (type of hoe) Farmer
Crescent Indicates Deceased was Likely Muslim
Crescent Moon Virgin
Cross 1) Emblem of faith  
2) Faith  
3) Resurrection  
4) Resurrection  
5) Salvation
Cross - w/ Rays of Rising Sun Glory
Cross - w/ Winding Sheet Descent From Cross
Crossed Swords High-Ranking Military Person
Crown 1) Soul's Achievement  
2) Glory of Life After Death  
3) Reward of Faithful  
4) Victory  
5) Triumph  
6) Glory  
7) Righteousness  
8) Resurrection
Crown - on Cross Sovereignty of Christ
Crown - on Skull Triumph of death
Crown - w/ Hammer & Anvil Deceased Smith
Crozier Bishop
Cultivated Rose 1) Everlasting Love  
2) Person was Born in the Month of June
Cup or Chalice 1) Sacrament  
2) Eucharist
Cypress 1) Hope  
2) Sorrow  
3) Death  
4) Eternal Life  
5) Roman Symbol for Mourning
Darts 1) Mortality  
2) Dart of Death
Dart - w/ Figure Mortality
Death's Head - Winged Mortality
Dog Good Master Worthy of Love
Dolphin 1) Resurrection  
2) Salvation  
3) Bearer of Souls Across Water to Heaven
Door Entrance to heaven
Dove 1) Innocence  
2) Gentleness  
3) Affection  
4) Purity  
5) Love  
6) Resurrection  
7) the Holy Spirit  
8) Peace  
9) Devotion  
10)Hope  
11) Mourning
Dove - Ascending Messenger of God Carrying Soul to Heaven
Dove - Descending Holy Ghost
Dove - Flying Resurrection.
Dove - w/ Olive Branch in Beak Hope and Deliverance
Drapery/Pall 1) Mourning  
2) Mortality  
3) Sorrow
Eagle 1) Courage  
2) Faith  
3) Generosity 
4) Contemplation  
5) Military  
6) Fierceness  
7) Ascension  
8) Heavenly Conveyor  
9) National Emblem of the U.S.A.  
10) Military Professional  
11) Civil War Casualties
Eagle - Winged St. John, the Evangelist
Easter Lily Resurrection
Effigies The Soul
Effigies - Crowned Personal Reward of Righteousness
Effigies - Winged Flight of the Soul
Egg Regeneration
Evergreens Immortality
Eye Humility
Eye of Ra/Horus 1) Sun/Moon  
2) Life/Death  
3) Protection Against Evil
Father Time 1) Mortality  
2) The Grim Reaper
Female Figure 1) Sorrow  
2) Grief
Field Artillery Military Profession
Finger Pointing - Downward Calling the Earth to Witness
Finger Pointing Upward 1) Pathway to Heaven  
2) Heavenly Reward
Fish 1) Faith  
2) Life  
3) Spiritual Nourishment  
4) Christian Symbol of Plenty  
5) Christ
Flag 1) Military  
2) Patriotism
Flail (threshing implement) Farmer
Flame 1) Immortality of the Spirit  
2) Resurrection  
3) Eternity
Fleur de Lys 1) Perfection  
2) Light  
3) Life  
4) Royalty  
5) Virgin  
6) Trinity
Flower(s) 1) Life's Frailty  
2) Immortality  
3) Brevity of earthly existence  
4) Sorrow 
Flower - Broken Premature Death
Tree - Flowering Dogwood 1) Christianity  
2) Divine Sacrifice  
3) Triumph of Eternal Life
Tree - Flowering Laurel 1) Atonement  
2) Glory  
3) Reward  
4) Victory
Flyfot Swastika
Four Evangelists Matthew, winged man; Mark, winged lion; Luke, winged ox; John, winged eagle
Fox 1) Cruelty  
2) Cunning
Frog 1) Worldly pleasure  
2) Sin  
3) Resurrection
Fruit Eternal Plenty
Fruit and vine 1) Jesus Christ  
2) The Christian Church
Garland/Wreath 1) Saintliness  
2) Glory  
3) Victory in Death
Garland/Wreath - Flowers Shortness of Life
Gates Entry into Heaven.
Gourds The Coming To Be and Passing Away of All Earthly Matters
Grape (aka True Vine) 1) "Our Lord"  
2) Christian Church
Grim Reaper 1) Inevitability of Death  
2) Death Personified
Gun Military Service
Hair - Flowing Penitence
Hand of God Chopping/Pointing Downward 1) Mortality  
2) Sudden Death
Hand of God Pointing Upward 1) The Reward of the Righteous  
2) Confirmation of Life After Death  
3) Pathway to Heaven
Hands 1) Devotion  
2) Prayer
Hands - Outstretched w/ thumbs touching Jewish - a descendant of Aaron, the High Priest
Hands - Clasped 1) Farewell  
2) Hope of Meeting in Eternity  
3) Devotion to the Departed  
4) Bond of Marriage
Hands - Folded 1) Devotion  
2) Prayer
Hands - Blessing Blessing of Those Left Behind
Hands - Praying Asking God for Eternal Life
Handshakes Farewell
Harp 1) Praise to the Maker  
2) Hope
Hart The Faithful Thirsting for God
Heart 1) Love  
2) Devotion  
3) Sorrow  
4) Joy  
5) Mortality  
6) Soul in Bliss  
7) Love of Christ  
8) the Soul in Heaven
Heart - Stylized Affection of the Living for the Dead
Heart - Sacred Catholic - Suffering of Christ for Our Sins
Heart - in Mouth of Death's Head Soul Emerging Triumphant From Death
Heart - Flaming Religious Fervor
Heart - Pierced by Sword 1) Virgin Mary  
2) Christ  
3) Repentance
Helmet 1) Military Service  
2) Strength  
3) Protection.
Holy Books - Two (2) Mormon - Bible and Book of Mormon
Holy Books - Three (3) Mormon - Scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants.
Horns The Resurrection
Horse 1) Strength  
2) Courage  
3)The Swiftness of the Passage of Time
Horseshoe Protection against evil
Hourglass 1) Swiftness of time  
2) Temperance  
3) Traditional symbol of Father Time
Hourglass - w/Wings of Time 1) Time flying  
2) Short Life
IHS 1) Christian symbol: "In His Service" or "In this sign conquer"  
2) Eternity  
3) Commonly used in Celtic crosses
Imps Mortality
Isis 1) Rebirth  
2) The Virgin Mary
Ivy 1) Friendship  
2) Immortality  
3) Fidelity  
4) Attachment  
5) Undying Affection  
6) Eternal Life  
7) Memory  
8) Faithfulness
Labyrinth 1) Eternity  
2) The inward path
Lamb 1) Innocence  
2) Resurrection  
3) Christ the Redeemer  
4) Meekness  
5) Sacrifice  
6) Child
Lamb - w/ Banner Resurrection
Lamp 1) Immortality of the Spirit  
2) Resurrection  
3) Knowledge of God
Laurel 1) Fame, esp. Literary or Artistic  
2) Victory  
3) Honor  
4) Glory  
5) Worldly Accomplishment  
6) Heroism  
7) Triumph
Laurel Leaves Triumph
Leather cutter's Knife, Nippers, Sole cutter & Awl Shoemaker
Light 1) Immortality of the Spirit  
2) Resurrection
Lily 1) Purity  
2) Chastity  
3) Resurrection  
4) Virgin Mary  
5) Annunciation  
6) Heavenly Bliss  
7) Innocence
Lily of the Valley 1) Rebirth  
2) Virgin Mary
Lion 1) Courage  
2) Bravery  
3) Strength  
4) Resurrection  
5) Royalty  
6) Power  
7) Guardian  
8) Fallen Hero
Lion - Winged St. Mark the Evangelist
Loom, Shuttle & Stretchers Weaver
Lotus 1) Purity  
2) Resurrection  
3) Perfect Beauty  
4) Spiritual Revelation

 

M - Z

 

 

 

 


© 2000-2016, Rhonda Stolte Darnell