Angels are common themes in cemeteries as they reference an afterlife as well as to protection. The images of angels within this slideshow are from a variety of locations throughout the world and will give you an idea of what is available; many retailers carry angel statues and they are a popular option through funeral homes as well.
Angels with open wings are said to represent the flight of the deceased to Heaven. It's a reminder to those left behind that the story isn't yet over for their departed loved one. The sight of an angel with open wings should bring hope and be a reminder of faith.
A sleeping angel is indicative of a loved one who has passed away. The cherub here likely represents a baby or young child who passed away, but could also be lying in wait in protection of someone who passed away at any age.
Angel With Trumpet
An angel holding a trumpet symbolizes the call to the resurrection. The Book of Revelation in the Bible talks about seven trumpets which will sound in response to events leading up to the resurrection of Jesus in which those who died will come back to life. For those mourners who have this faith, an angel with a trumpet comforts them that the deceased will one day rise again.
This angel gently keeps watch upon the grave of the deceased, providing mourners with the idea that the departed loved one isn't left alone at the cemetery. A watchful angel symbolizes protection from Heaven for the deceased.
This angel, with wings outstretched and looking up toward the sky, references the afterlife and the deceased's journey to Heaven. It's as if the angel is saying, "Your loved one isn't in this grave; they are up there."
Guiding the Way
This relief features angels escorting a baby into the afterlife. Angel statues in which they carry the departed are meant to symbolize protection on the journey. The idea of an angel carrying a baby to Heaven can provide a little solace to grieving parents and loved ones.
Angel With Flowers
Flowers held by an angel in a statue symbolize purity and innocence. They could also be indicative of the flowers traditionally placed on the graves of loved ones, a practice that is thousands of years old and began in Ancient Greece in which mourners believed the flowers would take root and the departed would send a message via the blossomed flowers of contentment in the afterlife.
This skeleton angel statue can be quite jolting to encounter, particularly for those in mourning. The skeleton represents death and mortality, and when combined with the symbolism of hope of the afterlife an angel brings, the statue combines death and hope together. These may feel like diametrically opposing themes, but for people with faith, death and hope can go hand in hand.
Though weeping angels are indicative of an untimely death, they are also commonly used to symbolize grief regardless of whether the death was expected or not. A weeping angel is a very tangible depiction of a very real grief.
Angel With Sword
An angel statue grasping a sword symbolizes justice - specifically, the archangel Michael, who leads the army of Heaven. Mourners might choose an angel with a sword if they feel as though the death of their loved one was the result of foul play or otherwise intentional.
Angel With Crossed Arms
Crossed arms on an angel statue represent reverence. This was actually a posture of reverence long before it became body language indicative of being closed off from conversation and interactions. An angel statue in this position is displaying reverence toward God and the grief of mourners.
Angel With Star
This angel statue points toward Heaven as if to indicate the deceased's destination. The star on the top of the angel's head is thought to symbolize the Angel of Death, who has the job of ushering souls into the afterlife.
Angel statues, in addition to headstones, augments the grave site and makes it a place where reflection and mourning can occur. Fo some mourners, angels serve as reminders of an afterlife and hope that they will one day again see their loved one.