Glass Trumpet Angel

In 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, she writes of the eight most common types of graveyard angels found in cemeteries—grouped by the task they performed: soul-bearing; praying; decorating and guarding; pointing; recording; trumpeting; sword-bearing (archangel Michael); and child angels.  Of the eight, only the trumpet angels are commonly found in cemeteries before the 1850s. “Trumpet angels not only foretell of the impending apocalypse and that the last Judgment is at hand but also as “embodiments of the resurrection.”

An example of that can be found in a stained-glass window in a mausoleum in the Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.  Here the angel is blowing a horn while walking down a path.  The angel does not have wings.  However, angels weren’t originally depicted with wings until the 4th Century.  In her article, “The Development of Winged Angels in Early Christian Art,” Therese Martin writes, “The shift to winged angels took place during the fourth century…it no longer sufficed to represent angels, who held a position somewhere between God and people simply as men.  Between God and man is the sky, a conceptual place where divinity had always been localized, a physical place occupied exclusively by winged creatures.”  She further writes that the concept winged angels can be found as early as Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 240), an early Christian author, who wrote, “Every spirit is winged, both angels and demons.”

After the 1850s, trumpet angels appear more frequently and often as full figures in sculptures rather than bas-reliefs and in glass. 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.”  The trumpet angels found in rural garden cemeteries are watchful and calm by comparison.  This angel strolling along almost looks like the Pied Piper!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Glass Trumpet Angel


    Very interesting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s