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msh's avatar

RIP~ what does it mean? Take a nap?

Asked by msh (4262points) October 5th, 2015 from iPhone

A friend recently found out what RIP means beyond the general ‘rest in peace’ statement. She had never thought it meant anything beyond endless sleep of a body’s shell because their essence had left for another plane.(not at the airport!) What do you think RIP means? Eternal peaceful sleep? Or does it mean, as some believe, that your body is in a suspended state that is in wait for a rebirth, or ‘second’ arrival of a faith’s Savior to be called into Heaven? Is this why some are afraid they won’t make it if they’re cremated? Are they really just taking a long nap? RIP…or not?

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12 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Originally Requiescat In Pace, (Latin) abreviated to RIP, literally meaning “may he (or she) begin to rest in peace.” A Requiescat is a prayer for the dead. Requies means to rest, repose, or recline—take your pick. It’s also where we get the term Requiem, as in Requiem Mass, which is a Mass for the Dead, or funeral mass. It is a traditional sentiment, a cultural thing. Saying and inscribing it has brought solace to the deceased’s friends and family since medieval times and came into widespread use in Western culture among both the religious and non-religious since the 1700’s.

Previously, Christians wanted to declare when a loved one died “in Christ” by inscribing Dormit in Pace, or “He Sleeps In Peace,” as in the peace one is to attain by dying after accepting Christ as their one and only saviour, free of sin through Extreme Unction performed by a priest just before or withing an hour of death. This had to do with their New Testament belief that the soul is separated from their body at death until Judgement Day when the soul’s ultimate destination would be decided by Christ during his second coming. In the meantime, it is hoped that they will rest in peace.

Make of it what you will.

Cruiser's avatar

There will always be some that cannot wrap their head around the simplicity and beauty of the sentiment of R.I.P. and I take a step back and bow to their wish to color their’s or anyone’s passing as peaceful or whatever it is that suits their interpretation of where we all go peaceful or not after our last breath we take. Very few phrases in life IMO are more profound than R.I.P.

msh's avatar

Wow. I did not know that. It is truly interesting. How much, through time, the church has entertwined with Heaven and death, consecrated, rites, etc. The phrase RIP has never has brought solace to me. I guess because when little, the person did not awaken. It therefore made no sense. So the saying; to rest peacefully. It meant they were still here, napping. This was when I was five. People were upset enough, so I just kept quiet.
Putting someone down for a nap is now taking on a whole new connotation!
Childhood is more trumatic now, than it was then!
I don’t want to be buried. The film Dr. Zhivago decided that. The scene in the movie of Dr. Zhivago’s mother being buried, up on the big screen (when the film first came out), scared me! When they showed inside, in the dark of the coffin, the sound of the dirt being shoveled on the top of it. Wow. I still can see it in my mind, today, a million or so years later!
It’s the fire for me. Or my body. I believe ‘I’ shall be elsewhere…probably speaking with Dantè.
Thank you, Espiritus_Corvus. I learned something more today because of you! I like it when that happens. :)

msh's avatar

That was from the heart Cruiser. Like a very quiet sincereness for the person who has gone. I like the impact of honesty brought forth for them. I have never felt the sincerity from that phrase before- but I am usually so distraught from missing the person. Selfishly, I guess. Perhaps one just isn’t listening, or maybe feeling the those spoken thoughts, until later. Not waiting for ‘the call’, just feeling the sentiment right there and then.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In the railroad world, RIP means Repair In Place, meaning that the engine (or freight car) can be fixed without coming to a depot or shop.

Although that seams irrelevant to the death discussion, one could see a relation between dying and being repaired.

dappled_leaves's avatar

It’s meant to ward against its opposite. It’s a way of saying, “I really hope you don’t spend an eternity being torn to shreds by demons.” When non-religious people the phrase RIP, it makes me wonder if they’ve ever considered what it means.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

You can do nothing else but rest in peace once having crossed the Rubicon. Just soothing words to cope with the notion of finality.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s the big dirt nap. Just wishing them the best.

Here2_4's avatar

Rot In Purgatory?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Owww. That’s a bit harsh.

Coloma's avatar

Rot in purgatory, LOL.

JLeslie's avatar

It seems jellies above have some history and more literal meaning to RIP.

I always thought of it as the body and soul finally leaving the probable torture the person went through nearing death, and finally has been released.

A note about cremation, the Jews don’t cremate, because they believe in the cycle of life. Bodies are not to be embalmed, and should be buried in a pine coffin so the body can go back to the earth and fortify it. I thought Christians are fine with cremating, but maybe some sects aren’t? I know there are columbariums at Catholic churches, so I guess they must be ok with it.

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