Trumpet Angels

Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio

Trumpet angels not only foretell of the impending apocalypse and that the last Judgment is at hand but also as “embodiments of the resurrection.” According to the article, “Embodying Immortality: Angels in America’s Rural Garden Cemeteries, 1850—1900”, pages 56 – 111, 2007 edition of Markers, XXIV, written by Elisabeth Roark, of the eight common categories of angels found in rural garden cemeteries only the trumpet angels are commonly found in cemeteries before the 1850s.

An example of that can be found in the Cave Hill Cemetery at Louisville, Kentucky. On the top third of the gravestone of Major General John King, who died in 1828, an angel is depicted flying amid billowing clouds.  The angel is blowing a horn and carrying a laurel wreath.

Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky

After the 1850s trumpet angels appear more frequently and often as full sculptures rather than bas-reliefs. The angels are often depicted looking toward to Heavens with an almost serene expression unlike the trumpet angels found in the Book of Revelation. The seven trumpet angels in Revelation “are a ferocious lot; each trumpet blow brings a disaster that destroys earthly life.”

Highland Cemetery, Terre Haute, Indiana

The trumpet angels found in rural garden cemeteries are watchful and calm by comparison.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

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