Angels in the Graveyard

It’s rare that I’ve been to a graveyard where there wasn’t at least one angel on the grounds, either in statue form guarding a plot or somehow incorporated into the grave marker. It’s nearly impossible to determine whether the person who selected the angel for a particular grave did so out of religious or aesthetic reasons, but like mostly everything else in cemetery art, angels have symbolic meaning. Depending on which source you read, angels can represent a number of things including: a guide to Heaven, a messenger from God, rebirth (when flying), sorrow (when crying), or resurrection (with a trumpet). Angels pointing downward possibly indicate a sudden or unexpected death. I’ve seen angels dropping flower petals, clasping wreaths, and carrying babies. There are probably many other symbols and depictions of angels that I’m not even privy to, which gives me something to look forward to learning.
 
The first photo is of my mother’s sister’s grave, a sibling who only lived for a few days. She recently told me that she was involved in putting the marker up many years after Dorcas’ death. Apparently my grandmother never fully “got over” losing the child and upon first seeing me for the first time said that I looked “just like another angel in Heaven.” I hear there’s a post-mortem photo of Dorcas somewhere, but I haven’t seen it. I’m morbidly curious to see if there was a resemblance between she and I.

Green Hill Cemetery, Danville, VA

The wings and legs are broken.

City Cemetery, Raleigh, NC

Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC

Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC
Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC
Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA

Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC

 

Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA
Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA
Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA
Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA

Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA


Sources:
State of Oregon-Cemetery Symbols
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One thought on “Angels in the Graveyard”

  1. Such beautiful pictures Jennifer! I love looking at Angels in the cemetary and have yet to study the family plot which contains an angel holding a baby. Love your Blog!

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