Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2006


In the past several years, a trend has developed that in an earlier age would have seemed inappropriate and perhaps even morbid; the increased personalization of gravestones (memorials). What makes this trend interesting is the variety of shapes, designs, manufacturing processes, and types of personalization actually appearing on gravestones, including seven-inch LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens recessed into the face of memorials. This paper discusses gravestones (memorials) in a religious context. It examines the rapidly developing market for elaborately designed memorials both in their traditional forms, typically vertical and created out of granite with just a name and date of death, to memorials in every conceivable size, shape and colour portraying scenes of the deceased's everyday life. Although this paper concentrates on memorials found in Christian, mostly Catholic and Protestant cemeteries, references to personalization, or lack of it, in Jewish and Muslim cemeteries are also discussed. Briefly addressed are references to advances in the latest engraving processes that are now making these personalized memorials possible.


Originally published:

Maresco, Peter A. and Admed U. Zafar. "Personalized Gravestones: Your Life's Passion for All to See and Hear." Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 13 (Summer 2006).



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