Angels are a prevalent monumental feature in cemeteries and graveyards and are regarded as a symbol of spirituality. They guard the tomb and are thought to be messengers between God and man. The angel, or ‘messenger of God,’ may appear in many different poses, each with its own individual meaning. An angel with open wings is thought to represent the flight of the soul to heaven. Angels may also be shown carrying the deceased in their arms, as if taking or escorting them to heaven. A weeping angel symbolizes grief, especially mourning an untimely death.
Among the highest ranking, Archangels are the most commonly known. Two angels can be named, and are identified by the objects they carry: Michael, who bears a sword and Gabriel, who is depicted with a horn. These angels concern themselves with strength, protection, guardianship.
The Winged Soul is often referred to as a cherub in Scotland and was a common feature on gravestones from the 18th century onwards. It was intended to represent the soul leaving the body at the time of death, and ascending to wait until the Day of Judgement, when the body would rise to join it. This motif was characterized by a fleshy face, life-like eyes, and an upwards-turned mouth. The wings of angels can take on many forms; the usual one is bird-like with long wings emanating from the side of the Angels head. It has been well-argued that said iconography has its roots in Ancient Egypt, copying those of the wings of the falcon-god Horus. Angels of the Resurrection are depicted blowing trumpets or flying through the air or both. Resurrection Scenes can take the form of a skeleton or a corpse merging from a coffin or the grave, surrounded by trumpeting angels.