Is there a French equivalent to the English expression used in circumstances of bereavement - R.I.P. - or "Rest In Peace"?

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    Did you look for it in a dictionary or an encyclopedia? What did you find?
    – None
    Nov 9, 2016 at 17:48
  • I did - but you know what the French are like - they can be very critical of using the wrong form or ending etc. - there are several alternatives shown - and because of the circumstances - and the number of people at the service - I'd like to get it right! Nov 9, 2016 at 18:02
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    All translations of "Rest in Peace" are the same. Obviously it is not the only possible phrase used in case of bereavement. But it is the same in English, isn't it ? Sorry for your loss, etc. phrases in English, phrases in French. If you want to know for your personal use you could modify your question giving context (whom/ connection with person, etc.) in order to be advised on the best sentence to use in your particular case.
    – None
    Nov 9, 2016 at 18:19
  • Thanks Laure - very nervous about this and didn't want to do the wrong thing ... appreciate your clarification Nov 9, 2016 at 19:19
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    @Laure Those references give the meaning, but not the usage. In many cases where English speakers would use “RIP”, many French speakers would say nothing. Whole books could be written on such expressions and how they are used in different locales, social settings, etc. depending in particular on the acceptability of religious phrasings or of the lack of religious phrasings. Nov 9, 2016 at 23:21

4 Answers 4


Repose en Paix is the exact equivalent you're looking for. It is used the same way as "Rest In Peace".

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    The latin form of this expression, Requiescat in pace (RIP) also frequently appears on gravestones and can be said orally, either under its full form or as an acronym. The meaning is exactly the same. Nov 9, 2016 at 18:40
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    If you want to use this one orally, you have to put it in the subjonctive form, for example: "Je tiens à vous faire part de ma douleur concernant le départ de Robert Durand, qu'il repose en paix." Nov 10, 2016 at 9:06

If your question is how to refer to someone who passed away in a text or speech (rather than on a headstone), then traditional expressions are:

paix à son âme

que Dieu ait son âme

feu (as adjective, nowadays only used in legal context)

In modern French:

qui vient de nous quitter

qui nous a quittés


because of the circumstances - and the number of people at the service - I'd like to get it right!

Seeing your comment, it appears that what you should ask for is not "what is the translation of RIP ?" but "What should I say in this situation ?". Beside you can find the translation of RIP easily in a dictionary.

If you want to get it rigth, and like Gilles hinted in the comment, you should focus on "the acceptability of religious phrasings or of the lack of religious phrasings" in your service. You migth be in a super religious and catholic office for all we know, but it is equally likely that you're surrounded by atheist or pastafarian.

IMHO, you'd be better of using a neutral phrasing like Mes sincères condoléances.


You could use ci-gît, meaning here lies and the name of the person. This can be used on gravestones. Edit : I may not have answered your question right, I didn't know what bereavement meant. Hope it will be useful to someone else.


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