I cannot get my head around people who use this term, & often look at them with a confused expression when I hear 'rest in peace'. What do people mean by this, & why do they feel they need to say it?
To me & probably all of you, its an empty phrase, meaningless. But still, its branded about more than Angry Birds.
How do you feel with this phrase? & how do you react to it socially? Are you offended by it? Have you never really thought about it?
The term doesn't bother me, and doesn't feel overtly religious to me. It doesn't get much more peaceful than death. To me it says that the person is free of the toils of everyday life (or free of the painful final days), rather than a conscious peaceful rest in an afterlife.
+1 to this response.... says everything I wanted to say. Thanks, James.
Yea I couldn't say it better myself.
Jesus thought of death as sleeping. The Bible teaches that when one dies they are not conscious, they are, in effect, well . . . just dead and buried. Until a possible resurrection.
I don't really use the term, nor does it bother me.
I thought it was interesting that you said to you it is an empty phrase. Meaningless, and then later you protest: Don't people get the meaning of it?
Rot in Peaces
I've seen it written on tombstones, but I have not heard it spoken aloud. It sounds like something you might say to describe the apparent sleep of a dead body. Do they use the expression for cremations? It might seem a bit weird if you are burning a body to ashes; to say Rest in peace in those circumstances definitely sounds wrong to me.
I hadn't thought about it until I read your thread topic. Is it really religious? I mean if there is supposed to be a heaven filled with happiness and harps, or whatever the image that religion inspires (72 virgins, for example hardly invites an image of peacefulness), is the religious person expecting any of these activities to be 'resting in peace'? Is there any other way to rest? It is a bizarre expression, but it doesn't seem to evoke any religious thoughts in my head.
When we give platitudes to bereaved people, we say the thing that we think will comfort them. They hear what they want to hear. There probably isn't an expression that we can trot out to resolve any grief, so we tend to resort to 'condolences' and other well-worn expressions.