Glendalough is a gorgeous valley in County Wicklow, Ireland. We visited its Monastic Site this summer. I found some of the tombstones there quite interesting.
Like this one, many of the older ones say:
Here Lieth the Body of ___ Who Dep. this Life on __ Aged ___ Lord have Mercy on her Soul. Amen
Obviously, back then they still believed that a person who died departs from this life into the next — the body is left behind and the soul goes somewhere else. Asking the Lord to have mercy on that person’s soul indicates that too.
We took a lot of pictures that day but I found the one you see here, particularly fascinating. Not only was it the first I’ve ever seen that has the “Here Lieth the Body” words on it but also because of what it says on the top:
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
— Glory to God in the highest —