The Celtic cross is one of the most famous symbols of Irish Heritage dating back to the 8th century. Historians believe it was Saint Patrick who first designed the cross which features a circle at its center symbolizing the sun, one of the most important symbols of ancient Celtic life. Generally, the cross is carved from stone with intricate Celtic lacing and biblical imagery. For the most part, the main components of Celtic cross headstones include:
Undeniably, the unique shape of the Celtic cross head is it’s defining feature. As well as structurally supporting the arms of the cross the ring also symbolizes Christian and Celtic unity. For the same reason, the ring on the top of the cross was also used by early missionaries of the Catholic Church in an attempt to convert the Celts to Christianity.
Standing majestically above all others this tall cross is traditionally known as a “High Cross”, the oldest and most famous Celtic Cross design. Based on the original High Cross construction, this Irish memorial displays intricate hand-carved Celtic lacing with an outer roped design on the main shaft. The initials “IHS”, a combination of letters representing the holy name of Jesus are also beautifully carved in the center circle of the cross. In addition, the dye which supports the cross is recessed on three sides allowing for numerous inscriptions to be engraved. Made from traditional blue limestone this Celtic High Cross embodies the true spirit of ancient Celtic Christianity.
Newer versions of the High Cross first became popular Irish gravestones in mid nineteenth century Dublin. Afterwards the Celtic cross revival quickly spread to the rest of Ireland and today this iconic symbol still remains one of our most adored memorials. By and large modern Celtic cross headstones display a carved interlace with traditional Celtic Knots on the main shaft. In a like manner, the center of the cross usually has “IHS” or an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus engraved. Compared to the High Cross our modern Celtic cross headstones are significantly smaller in size. As a result, Irish crosses have become increasingly popular especially due to some cemeteries restricting height on memorials.
Together with the beauty of its form a Celtic cross headstone design is more popular today than it was at any time in the past. Presently, the inclusion of intricate Celtic crosses carved in stone adorn many new and modern graveside memorials. As can be seen from our examples below our headstone designs are accompanied by exquisitely hand-carved Celtic crosses. In particular, the Boyne and Erne headstone designs are formed around the interlaced cross itself. By the same token, the characteristic beauty of each Celtic cross basically defines the outer shape of the granite memorial. Ultimately, the artistry of modern Celtic cross gravestones gives them an appeal that transcends the bounds of religion, race and territory.
Irish gravestones have changed tremendously over the last several centuries. Unlike their older counterparts today’s Irish headstones are for the most part personalized to each individual’s requirement. Gravestones depicting Irish symbols elegantly combine our ancient heritage with a twist of modern day stone masonry. For example, The Irish harp one of Ireland’s most famous emblems plays a prominent feature in new Irish headstone designs. Similarly, the traditional Celtic cross, along with Celtic lacing and trinity knots elegantly embellish our Irish graveside memorials. Together with a time-honored rustic appearance or a modern day polished finish our Irish Headstone designs will ultimately continue your loved one’s legacy for many generations to come.
Generally, finding the right words to best commemorate a loved one is never an easy task. All things considered, finding appropriate Gaelic headstone inscriptions in particular can be challenging. Although this may be true, there are a few key points to keep in mind when choosing an Irish gravestone inscription.
With this in mind we have compiled a short list of Heavenly inspired Gaelic gravestone inscriptions below with translations included. In order to view the English translation simply click one of our Irish epitaphs. In a similar fashion, you will find examples of Gaelic epitaphs engraved throughout our exclusive selection of Irish and Celtic cross headstones.
Your two hands O Christ around us / Safe in the arms of Jesus
In Paradise may we be
May God give eternal rest to him
May God give eternal rest to her
With the saints may she be
With the saints may he be
Thy Kingdom come
Your will be done
Eternal Peace to his soul
Eternal Peace to her soul
Please pray for them
May we be gathered in God’s granary
May we meet in God’s nets
May the Lord have mercy on her soul
May the Lord have mercy on his soul
At God’s right hand let him be
At God’s right hand let her be
The Light of Heaven on him
The Light of Heaven on her
May Jesus always live in my heart
The Lord is my shepherd
In loving memory of