Agnus Dei is a Christian symbol representing the Lamb of God. It is one of the earliest symbols of Christ deriving from Saint John the Baptist’s exclamation on beholding Christ, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world ” (John 1, 29).
The symbol depicts a lamb with a halo standing on the ground, holding by the right forefoot a banner flying on a wooden cross. It represents the risen Christ triumphant over death. A similar image showing the lamb with a gash in its side, symbolizes the passion of Christ.
In some instances the lamb may be seated.
A reclining Agnus Dei seated on a book with seven seals, represents the final judgment when Christ returns in glory.
Agnus Dei was adopted as a Masonic symbol by the Knights Templar and is found on several of their seals.
The Agnus Dei is also a badge of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. The Paschal Lamb with a halo above its head, supports over one shoulder a flag bearing the device of St. George, a red cross upon a white field.
There are many different gravestone symbols relating to the death of a child. The most common is the lamb which represents innocence.
Happy children early blest Rest in peaceful slumbers, rest Early rescued from the cares Which increase with growing years Though your youth and beauty fair Cruel death refused to spare Your souls are winged to worlds on high And dwell with saints above the sky.
Victorian memento mori of a deceased child is represented by a sleeping child. Sleep is the link between life and death.
If tears could build a stairway And memories a lane I’d walk right up to Heaven And bring you home again.
A vacant chair also represents the death of a child. Small, empty furniture symbolizes unfulfilled lives of children and represents the child now gone.
Our family chain is broken And nothing seems the same But as God calls us one by one The Chain will link again
Empty shoes symbolize the loss of a child; often one shoe is overturned. Shoes on a chair identifies childhood and the inability to achieve adulthood.
A crib is instantly recognized as a the grave of a child.