A Collection of Lambs

I love exploring cemeteries and looking at the different symbols used on tombstones. If you spend a lot of time in cemeteries, especially in Northern Ontario, you will start to notice the repetition of certain symbols and motifs. One of the most common symbols I find, is the lamb.

Lambs represent innocence and sacrifice, as they were often used in sacrificial ceremonies in ancient times1. Most often you will find lambs on the gravestones of infants and children, as Jesus is often depicted as a Shepherd, and also known as the “lamb of God”. Some variations can be found with lamb symbolism. A robed figure with a standing lamb beside it most often represents John the Baptist, who had called Jesus the “lamb of God”1. A lamb with a cross is known to represent the Lamb of God or Agnus Dei2, symbolizing the suffering of Christ as he sacrificed himself for the sins of mankind. Several other symbols may be found with a lamb to symbolize the lamb of God – such as a banner, halo, shepherds crook, and alpha and/or omega symbols2. A single seated lamb symbolizes an innocent soul. A seated lamb can sometimes be found sitting in front of a tree stump, this often symbolizes a life cut short. 

Finding lambs is often sad, but they are a beautiful symbol. I have photographed many over the years and wanted to share some of them with you today. 


  1. Snider, Tui. Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards. 1st ed., Castle Azle Press, 2017. 
  2. Keister, Douglas. Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography. 1st ed., Gibbs Smith, 2004. 

2 thoughts on “A Collection of Lambs

  1. Serenely beautiful photos, Chantal.

    I too am strongly drawn towards lambs (and doves) at cemeteries. Though they do typically denote the graves of younger individuals, I have on a few rare occasions seen them used for those above the age of around twenty. To the best of my memory, such markers were usually for women and I cannot help but wonder if perhaps some (if not all) of them died in (or shortly thereafter) childbirth.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the message, Autumn. I love doves as well, although I do not come across them as often. I think that is a very sound theory as to why the lamb would be used in that instance. They are a heartbreakingly beautiful symbol.

      Liked by 1 person

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