Commonly Used Early
An ascending dove represents the transport of the departed’s soul to heaven. A descending dove represents the assurance of a safe passage. A dove lying dead symbolizes a life cut short. A dove holding an olive branch symbolizes that the soul has reached divine peace in heaven.
Shells are a symbol of a person’s Christian pilgrimage or journey through life and of baptism in the church. Placing a shell on a gravestone is an ancient custom and may in fact have several different meanings, depending on the cultural background of the people placing the shells.
Roses represent love, beauty and hope. Tis symbol is oſten associated with the Virgin Mary as a reminder that the soul achieves its most perfect state aſter physical death. In Christian practice, it can be representative of the blood of Christ.
Te anchor typically symbolizes hope and oſten serves as a symbol for Christ and his anchoring influence upon the lives of Christians.
In seaside areas, the anchor serves as a symbol for seamanship and usually marked the grave of a dedicated seaman.
Te lily has primarily Christian associations. Lilies are usually attached to the Virgin Mary, and chastity. When Christ is shown as the judge of the world with a lily in his mouth, the flower represents mercy. A lily and a sword signify guilt and innocence.
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