‘Rest in Peace’ in Spanish: Funeral & Cemetery Vocabulary
Learning how to say “rest in peace” in Spanish and other funeral terms is something you will find useful one day. We will inevitably encounter these situations in the future, so it’s good to be prepared.
Death is the only thing certain in this life and talking about it from time to time is natural. This lesson on cemetery vocabulary will make your hard time a little easier and to enable you to feel less pressured in a moment of grief.
Saying “rest in peace” in Spanish is only the beginning. Being fluent on this subject also involves understanding how people in Hispanic cultures say goodbye to a loved one.
The following funeral vocabulary is about the things we do or say collectively under these circumstances.
|El adiós||Goodbye, farewell|
|La despedida||Farewell ceremony, farewell|
|El cortejo fúnebre||Funeral procession|
|La marcha fúnebre||Funeral march|
|En memoria||In memoriam|
In Mexico, people have a velorio in a casa funeraria (funerary house) that lasts from 12 to 24 hours. Everyone gives their condolencias to the family.
Knowing Respectful Ways to Offer Condolences is important in the Hispanic tradition since it is an important moment to show that you care. Sometimes saying “rest in peace” in Spanish is not enough.
Mexicans are famous for having a special way of interacting with death. You can witness this at wakes where people laugh and smiles. This is because it is common to tell funny and loving stories about the departed. It makes us feel grateful for the life of the person who passed away.
Nos reuniremos para darle el último adiós a Juanita.
We will meet to say our last goodbye to Juanita.
Seré parte del cortejo fúnebre ya que yo era cercano al fallecido.
I will be part of the funeral procession since I was close to the departed.
Dale el pésame a tu amiga de mi parte.
Offer my condolences to your friend.
El chico tocará la marcha fúnebre en el órgano.
The boy will play the funeral march on the pipe organ.
El velorio de Roberto duró toda la noche.
Roberto’s wake lasted all night.
Vine a darle el pésame a todos.
I came to offer my condolences to everyone.
Rituals around Death
People have different funeral rituals according to culture, traditions, geography, and religion.
In Hispanic countries, Catholicism is the dominant religion. Although this lesson on how to say “rest in peace” in Spanish can apply to many faiths, I included Catholic elements to it to make your experience easier.
|El deceso||Deceased, passing away|
|La difunta / el difunto||Deceased, deceased person|
|El fallecimiento||Passing, decease|
|La finada / el finado||The deceased|
|La viuda / el viudo||Widow / widower|
When arriving at a wake, the first person you should offer pésames to is the viuda or viudo.
During the velorio, a priest offers mass. Mourners recite rosary prayers throughout the wake and before and after the misa.
Normally after the velorio, the body can be cremado (cremated) or enterrado (buried).
Loved ones gather again the next day to say their final goodbyes to the difunto; this ritual is called el sepelio. This part is solemne. The phrase “rest in peace” in Spanish—descanse en paz—is commonly said here.
Use this guide to say sentences using this cemetery vocabulary.
Después de la ceremonia, asistiremos a la cremación.
After the ceremony, we will attend to the cremation.
El funeral duró un día.
The funeral lasted for a day.
La familia decidió que sería mejor un entierro.
The family of the deceased decided a burial would be better.
El difunto fue incinerado después de la misa.
The deceased was cremated after the Mass.
El sepelio fue muy solemne y así concluimos todo el rito de defunción.
The burial was very solemn, and that is how we concluded the deceased’s rite.
Para honrar la memoria del finado, quisimos hacer un homenaje.
To honor the deceased’s memory, we wanted to do an homage.
Key Funeral Places
Learning how to say “rest in peace” in Spanish and other funeral vocabulary might be enough in cases where you were not close to the difunto. But if you are part of the family or a close friend, you should study the following vocabulary.
|La agencia funeraria||Funeral home|
|La sepultura||Tomb, grave|
An agencia funeraria can help you with almost every part of the funeral.
Catholics go to the iglesia to attend a novenario. A novenario is nine masses that are held on nine consecutive days.
La capilla estaba llena de gente.
The chapel was crowded.
La agencia funeraria me ayudó con el papeleo.
The funeral home helped me with the paperwork.
La gente se reunió en el templo en cuanto supieron la noticia.
People gathered in the temple as soon as they heard the news.
Funeral Items and Elements
To be fluent when speaking about funerals, learn this list of articles related to them.
|Las cenizas||Ashes, remains|
|El coche fúnebre||Hearse|
|La esquela||Death notice|
Supe que había fallecido porque vi la esquela en el periódico.
I knew he had passed away because I saw the death notice in the newspaper.
Qué bonito obituario publicaron.
What a beautiful obituary they published.
El mausoleo que busco está en frente de una lápida con flores talladas.
The mausoleum I am looking for is in front of a headstone with carved flowers.
Metieron los restos al féretro y las cenizas a la urna.
They put the remains in the coffin and the ashes in the urn.
Me acerqué al ataúd pero no quise ver el cadáver.
I came closer to the coffin but I did not want to see the corpse.
Practice this Vocabulary!
Now that you know how to say “rest in peace” in Spanish and other terms and vocabulary, feel free to practice it with one of our native-speaking professionals. Let a friendly Homeschool Spanish Academy teacher from Guatemala tailor a Spanish package just for you—and earn high school credit while you’re at it. To join our 24,000 monthly active students, sign up for a free trial class today!
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