The sun is a potent symbol throughout the world—ancient and modern. In funerary symbolism it is depicted in many ways: as a yellow sphere; as spreading rays of light; as a geometric pattern shaped like a many-pointed star; as lines emanating from a single point outward in a fan pattern. The ancient Egyptians depicted a single ray of the sun as an obelisk in honor of their sun god Ra.
Like many symbols, there is a duality to the sunburst. For instance, when looking at the symbol, it is difficult to discern if it is a rising sun or a setting sun—which leads to its dual meaning. The rising sun represents the resurrection, rebirth, and eternal life. In fact, many Western cemeteries were oriented to bury the deceased facing the rising sun in anticipation of the return of the Savior God Jesus. The setting sun, however, represented death and the end of the mortal life.
So, which do you see–the rising sun or a sunset?