Tag Archives: O.S.

Acronyms on Gravestones

FUGIT HORA is a Latin phrase meaning “hours are fleeting” or “time flies”.

fugit hora

TEMPUS EDAX RERUM translated from Latin means time, devourer of all things.
tempus edax

I.H.S. There are several interpretations of this symbol which contain the superimposed letters of I, H and S.

  • They represent the Greek letters Iota (Ι), Eta (Η) and Sigma (Σ), which are the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek (Ihsus, or Ihcuc).
  • “In His Service” or “In this sign conquer”
  • In Hac Salus – safety in this (meaning the cross)
  • Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus Saviour of Men).
  • “In hoc signo”, Latin for “by this sign we conquer”, referring to the cross

I.N.R.I. is often placed on a banner above the cross. They represent the first four letters of the Latin words “Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum” meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” According to John 19:19 (Bible), Pontius Pilate wrote this title, and had it placed above Christ on the cross. The sign was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

O.S. These letters are displayed after the date, the acronym for’ Old Style’ refers to the Julian Calendar.


R.I.P. The most well-known acronym, Rest in Peace


TABLETS OF THE DECALOGUE Symbolizes the Ten Commandments on two joined tablets. It is text from the Bible given to Moses on Mount Sinai as a symbol of the Old Covenant.



  • Chi-Rho is an ancient Christian symbol representing the Greek word for Christ – Chi (X) and Rho (P)
  • Chi-Rho symbol is also the origin of using the abbreviation Xmas for Christmas
  • The emblem came to Emperor Constantine in a dream and he used it as a military symbol. It is often seen on banners in religious processions. This symbol has been found on early Roman tombstones.

HEBREW Here Lies