An epitaph is a phrase or words written in memory of someone. These are usually found on a tombstone or plaque as a way to honor someone’s life. For those who hold their religious faith close, an epitaph is a way to honor this belief system.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Christian Epitaph Examples
- Catholic Epitaph Examples
- Jewish Epitaph Examples
- Muslim Epitaph Examples
- Buddhist Epitaph Examples
- Hindu Epitaph Examples
- Sikh Epitaph Examples
Choosing an epitaph for yourself or a loved one is a highly personal decision. This is part of someone’s legacy and final resting place. Ensuring it reflects their beliefs, passions, and who they were is important.
Whether you’re choosing a headstone epitaph for parents or one for yourself, here are 35+ religious epitaph examples for a headstone. These are taken from the Bible, religious texts, or just from the faith itself. Which one speaks to you?
Christian Epitaph Examples
There are a number of Christian epitaphs that come from the Bible and other religious teachings. For those who believe in Christianity, these bring a feeling of peace and healing knowing their loved one is at peace with God.
1. “The life everlasting.” (John 2:25)
This quote is taken from a longer passage. It read, “This is the promise...the life everlasting.” With God, all of life and what comes after is everlasting.
2. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Kindness and compassion are at the heart of Godliness. Those who are to be seen in God’s image are those who are kind to their fellow men.
3. “Sleep on now, and take your rest.” (Matthew 25:21)
Death is really just eternal rest. To die is to find peace in yourself, God, and the world. This epitaph brings peace and comfort to the family, especially if the loved one suffered greatly in the end.
4. “I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 1:7)
Life is full of obstacles and challenges. Through it all, it’s important to remain faithful and true. This full passage reads, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
5. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. “ (23rd Psalm)
With the Lord as one’s guide, there is no longing for things one doesn’t have. God provides for all, and in him, one can find true faith and happiness.
Catholic Epitaph Examples
For a Catholic focus when it comes to epitaphs, the ideas below are a good fit. These focus on the loved one’s return to God in heaven.
6. “An angel on Earth and an angel in heaven.”
Those we love never really leave us. Though your loved one might be gone, their light still shines brightly above in heaven.
7. “God’s garden needs flowers.”
God’s garden in heaven is graced with the most beautiful of souls. When you lose your loved one, they rejoin the garden of eternity in heaven.
8. “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)
Life is often full of suffering and pain, but it’s not in vain. This reminder on an epitaph is a powerful statement of strength.
9. “I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23)
As this famous passage reads, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” This emphasizes how one must walk through temptation and challenges at times, but this doesn’t need to sway you away from God’s grace.
10. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
Mourning has a time and place. While mourning someone you love is difficult, it also brings peace and comfort.
Jewish Epitaph Examples
For those of the Jewish faith, it’s common to inscribe Hewbew epitaphs. Quotes are commonly taken from the Tanakh, a canonical collection of Hebrew scripture.
11. “May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.”
One of the most common Jewish epitaphs is this quote from the Bible. This is typically written in Hebrew (ת נ צ ב ה), and it’s a reminder that the spirit goes on even after death.
12. “A righteous man falls down seven times and gets up.” (Proverbs 24:16)
In this famous scripture, King Soloman explains the importance of rising above your challenges. In the Torah, it’s not about succeeding—it’s about continuing to try.
13. “This too is for the good.”
This is a famous Jewish saying by Nachum Ish Gamzu. When life gets “hard,” you have to think about the best. What are you really working towards?
14. “The salvation of God is like the blink of an eye.” (Esther 4:17)
Finding salvation is easier than you think. God can change the entire world in a single moment—the blink of an eye.
Last but not least, this is a famous Jewish toast that means cheers to life, happiness, and togetherness.
Muslim Epitaph Examples
It is considered proper headstone etiquette to include religious messages and scripture on one’s headstone. These Muslim epitaphs are a reminder that we are all equal before God.
16. “Allah is with those who are patient.” (Q. 2:153)
Patience is highly valued in Islam. Those who are patient in all things understand that life is full of ups and downs. By being patient with Allah, it’s possible to make it through anything.
17. “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Q. 13:28)
When God is in your heart, eternal peace is possible. Knowing that one’s beloved friend or family member rests with Allah is a source of peace and healing.
18. “He has knowledge of all things.” (Q. 57:3)
There are no answers to be found on earth. To put everything in perspective, you must trust in Allah and understand that He is the only one who knows what the future brings.
19. “And He has made me blessed wherever I am.” (Q. 19:31)
God blesses each and every man. Though life may not always be easy, it’s important to remember that these blessings are what we should all be thankful for.
20. “My mercy embraces all things.” (Q. 7:156)
Lastly, Allah’s mercy for all creatures is seen in every part of life. This mercy is where we find forgiveness in the end.
Buddhist Epitaph Examples
In Buddhism, it’s important to find harmony in every living thing. Whether these passages are used for pet epitaphs or to honor a Buddhist loved one, they’re a powerful form of remembrance.
21. “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world.” (Buddha)
To radiate “boundless love” is to live a life of compassion and kindness. This is for all creators, big and small, as well as nature itself.
22. “Drop by drop is the water pot filled.” (Buddha)
A bowl of water is not filled all at once. It’s filled drop by drop, only a little at a time. While this might seem slow, this is the true path of personal growth and experience.
23. “Nothing remains without change.”
Though not a Buddhist quote, this is inspired by the Buddhist belief that the only constant in life is change. Nothing can stay the same, but change also pushes us forward.
24. “If anything is worth doing, do it with all your heart.” (Buddha)
For someone who always knew their true passion, this Buddhist quote rings true. Putting one’s entire soul and heart into something is an act of bravery.
25. “Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except yourself.” (Buddha)
We are the only constant companions we have during this life, and it’s best to put ourselves first. You should always count on yourself.
Hindu Epitaph Examples
As the world’s third-largest religion, this is an important practice focused on a way of life. In Hinduism, there are many paths to reaching enlightenment.
26. “Change is the Law of The Universe.” (Bhagavad Gita)
Nothing is permanent. The things we love today will be gone tomorrow, and it’s important to accept this change if you want to become mindful.
27. “For the soul, there is never birth or death.” (Bhagavad Gita)
The soul is an everlasting thing. It cannot be killed or die. It lives in the universe, and it will exist after our bodies have gone.
28. “We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.” (Bhagavad Gita)
If you look for goodness in the world, that is what you’ll find. It’s important to put out the energy that you hope to receive in turn.
29. “You are eternal, and beyond eternity.” (Artharva Veda)
Like time itself, you do not die. The soul is an endless thing that spans “beyond eternity.” Your memory and your soul will live on for all of time.
30. “To enter into infinite peace.” (Prashna Upanishad)
Meditation is at the heart of Hinduism, and to meditate within oneself is to find the path to “infinite peace.” Death is much like meditation. It’s a source of peace and comfort, knowing that this life has ended and the next is soon to come.
Sikh Epitaph Examples
Sikhism is a belief system in one God who guides and protects all. Everyone is equal before God, and it’s important to lead a life of goodness by serving others. This is the best way to find eternal peace.
31. “The world is a drama, staged in a dream.” (Guru Nanak)
Our lives are truly nothing but a brief blink in the eyes of time. We come and go so quickly, and it’s what you do on that world’s stage that really matters.
32. “I bow at His feet constantly and pray to Him.” (Guru Nanak)
To respect and honor the guru is to find true enlightenment. For someone who lived a life of prayer and faith, there can be no stronger tribute.
33. “The lotus blossoms forth.” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
The lotus is often used as a symbol for meditation. When you meditate, you grow closer to enlightenment and understanding. Like a lotus, you finally blossom.
33. “Whatever you plant, you shall harvest.” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
You reap what you sow. When you promote goodness into the world, you get goodness back and vice versa. This is the key teaching of karma.
34. “Where there is forgiveness, there is God himself.” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
The best thing in life that you can do is forgive. You must accept others with kindness to live a life free from judgment and pain. Forgiveness is a brave way to become one with the world.
35. “Truth, contentment, compassion.”
Lastly, this is at the heart of Sikh teachings. To live a life seeking truth, contentment, and compassion is to find true happiness.
Find the Right Epitaph
Epitaphs come in so many different shapes, sizes, and so on. While less is usually more, it’s important to have your message mean something real. This is a part of someone’s story, legacy, and final resting place. What do you want to say when you’re gone?
If faith was important to you or your loved one, these epitaph examples above help show the importance of that belief. While we each have our own interpretations of faith, these become a part of who we are and how we see the world.