The Lamb

Walk into nearly any American graveyard and you will find tiny little lambs marking the graves of children mostly. These lambs are often found on the tops of gravestones and comes in many sizes and positions—often curled up and sleeping, sometimes with a cross behind the lamb.

However, two examples show the lamb a bit differently—both of these sculptures are freestanding and not marking a specific grave but used as a work of art in each of the cemeteries.

The first is found in the Fairview Cemetery at Linton, Indiana. This little sculpture is found tucked in between two gravestones, neither of which is for an infant. The lamb in this small sculpture in this example, is being cradled by a child.

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The lamb in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at New Albany, Indiana is raising its head up, eyes wide open, as if it is looking at the passersby. The lamb, alert and bright eyed, looks like it could stand up at any moment and scamper away. This is also one of the biggest lambs I have come across in a cemetery—it is about the size of a full-grown Labrador.

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The lamb is the symbol of the Lord, the Good Shepherd. It also represents innocence, likely the reason why this motif usually adorns the tombstones of infants and young children.

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