Memorial Inscriptions

Frequently Used Quotations

Below are some of the most frequently used quotations found on Seaford gravestones. The brief phrases used are mostly drawn from the Bible (the 1611 King James version), the Book of Common Prayer (the Anglican 1662 version) and Hymns which had been traditional and familiar to most well into the 20th Century. Others might originate in favourite Poems, or increasingly be chosen from lists offered by funeral directors.

Abide with me. - 1847 Hymn
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Absent from the body present with The Lord. - 2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Asleep in Jesus. - 1843 Hymn
Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep
From which none ever wakes to weep ...

Blessed are ... - The Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount) Matthew 5
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Come unto me and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Father in Thy gracious keeping - 1870 Hymn & Book of Common Prayer (Burial of the Dead)
Father in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping. or
Leave we now our loved one sleeping.

God moves in a mysterious way. - 1773 Hymn by William Cowper
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

God's Garden. - Poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney (Penultimate verse)
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth

Greater love hath no man. - John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

He giveth his beloved sleep. - Psalm 127:2 (Also EB Browning, "The Sleep")
1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

IHS - usually carved at the top of a gravestone
Stands for the name 'Jesus', either the first three letters (Greek), or abbreviated Iesus Hominum Salvator - Jesus Saviour of Men (Latin).

I know that my Redeemer liveth. - Job 19:25 (Also Handel's "Messiah")
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.

In sure and certain hope - Book of Common Prayer
We therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ;

In the midst of life we are in death. - Book of Common Prayer
Media vita in morte sumus; quem quaerimus adjutorem, nisi te Domine, qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris?
A Middle Age or Medieval text, translated by Thomas Cranmer c 1540 (post-Reformation) for the Book of Common Prayer:
In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?.

Lest we forget - 'Recessional', Rudyard Kipling 1897
Lest we forget - lest we forget! is the last line of four of the five verses of this poem, later set to music as a hymn. The refrain is used as a response during reading of "We will remember them" (see below), and is itself an epitaph found on many war memorials.

Mizpah was a place first mentioned in Genesis 31:49. Its symbolic significance has altered down the centuries, from "Lord watch over thee and me while we are apart", to come to mean an expression of good wishes, faith and hope for the future.

Peace, Perfect Peace. - 1875 Hymn, based upon Isaiah 26:3:
Peace, Perfect Peace, with Loved Ones far away
In Jesus’ keeping We are safe and They.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Rest In Peace - RIP
The original Latin phrase - Requiescat in pace - means "May he/she/they rest in peace". It was part of the Roman Catholic burial liturgy (and remains part of the Rite of Committal and Prayers After Death). Its place on memorials became popular in the 18th and 19th Centuries and the English version - "Rest in peace" or R.I.P. - became common on both Catholic and Anglican gravestones.
For many the wish or prayer expressed for the deceased is without a specific denominational significance. Among certain Protestants, however, it remains highly controversial and whether to use it or not continues to attract vehement debate, due to its Catholic origin and doctrinal interpretation.

Safe in the arms of Jesus. - 1868 Hymn
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershaded,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.

She hath done what she could. - Mark XIV:8
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

She loved much. - Luke 7:47
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Suffer little children to come unto Me. - Luke 18:16 and Matthew 19:14
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord is my Shepherd. - Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The peace of God which passeth all understanding. - Philippians 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Till the day break / Until the day breaks (and the shadows flee away)
                    - Song of Solomon - 2:17   or   4:6
17 Until the day breaks, and the shadows flee away,
turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
6 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away,
I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death ... - Psalm 23
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
(See Psalm 23, above)

Thy Will Be Done. - Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord's Prayer);
          also the Book of Common Prayer (Burial of the Dead)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
  (And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.)
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever (and ever). Amen.

To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die. - Thomas Campbell - 'Hallowed Ground'
But strew his ashes to the wind, whose sword or voice has served mankind,
And is he dead, whose glorious mind lifts thine on high?
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

With Christ, which is far better. - Philippians 1:23
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
We Will Remember Them
The Ode of Remembrance is part of the daily ceremony held at the Menin Gate Memorial to The Missing of World War I, near Ypres, Belgium. It is regularly recited at other Commonwealth commemorations of the sacrifices made in the Great War, and including the fallen of later conflicts. Most conclude with the sounding of The Last Post. The Ode is from Robert Laurence Binyon's 1914 poem "For The Fallen". Verse 4 is most often quoted on memorials. The text of the full poem reads:
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
"We will remember them" (verse 4) is often repeated by a lead mourner during services commemorating the dead, the congregation response being "Lest we forget".
Alternatively the congregation's response may be the affirmative "We will remember them".

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