Tombstone Tuesday-Finger Pointing Down Symbol

I recently posted some tombstone art photos of a finger pointing upward, symbolizing the hope of heaven or that the soul has gone to heaven. This is a symbol commonly seen in older cemeteries.

Here is another example of a pointing finger, only this finger is pointing downward. A down-pointing finger is much less frequently found on tombstones. I believe this one is the only one I have actually seen, although I have seen photos of the symbol.

Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio, 1897 finger pointing down, Clyde Pennell.

No, a finger pointing downward does not symbolize what you are probably thinking right now. It is not that ominous. I doubt this person’s loved ones thought that he was not going to heaven.

Instead, a finger pointing downward symbolizes God reaching down for the person’s soul. It can also represent that the deceased had an unexpected, sudden, or untimely death. 

It is hard to make out, but that appears to be a calla lily and a leaf by the hand.  

Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio, 1897 finger pointing down, Clyde Pennell.

What an interesting bit of tombstone art!

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