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A Grave Look At 5 Common Cemetery Symbols

A Grave Look At 5 Common Cemetery Symbols

Cemeteries are much more than a backdrop for scary stories and zombies. They are a place to respectfully honor those we have lost. In fact, graveyards and headstones can tell us a lot about the people who are buried there.

Cemetery symbols provide the living with a glimpse into the deceased’s everyday interests and afterlife aspirations, giving us a better understanding of their world and the lives of previous generations.

Here’s a look at the meanings behind these 5 popular cemetery symbols:

5 Common Cemetery Symbols

1. Angel

Pictured above. Whether weeping or showing joy, angels are messengers of God employed to bring us comfort in the expectancy of a harmonious afterlife.

2. Calla Lily

headstone symbols

Calla Lily

This beautiful bloom on a headstone often symbolizes marriage and became popular in the late 1800s when the flower was imported from South Africa.

3. Draped Urn

cemetery symbols

Draped urn

Often draped with a cloth, this symbol represents the veil between the worlds. Urns were very common in the 1800s.

4. Door

cemetery symbols

Angel at the door.

A door is seen as a partition between this world and the next, hence the phrase “knocking on death’s door.”

5. Finger

cemetery symbols

Finger (pointing upward)

(Pointing Upward) – This cemetery symbol indicates that the soul went to heaven, even if the body is in the ground.

Finger (Pointing Downward) – While the natural thought is that the soul is heading to the “other place,” in reality, a finger pointing downward indicates God beckoning the soul up to heaven.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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