Letters and Monograms

Various letters and monograms are used on grave memorials to identify Jesus Christ. The most common are:

This common symbol appears in various forms that represent Christianity or Christians. Its exact origin is unknown but the Christians appear to have adopted the symbol from the Greeks. The vertical line may have represented a cosmic tree and the axial symbol. In Christianity, it represents the first two letters of Christ’s name. It was later the emblem used by Constantine and came to him in a dream. The symbol has been found on early Roman tombstones.

Two styles of the sacred monogram of chi rho or labarum.

A and W
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet. They symbolize God the Father and the Son or the beginning and the end. They are commonly used in conjunction with another symbol, such as a cross or a crown.

Common monograms found on grave memorials, these letters are the first three letters of Ihsus, or Ihcuc, the name of Jesus in Greek. The “S” and the “C” are variant forms in the Greek alphabet. Very often this configuration is mistakenly interpreted as Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus Saviour of Men).

Two styles of the sacred monogram of chi rho or labarum.

These represent the first four letters of the Latin words “Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum” meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” According to John 19:19 (Bible), Pontius Pilate wrote this title, and had it placed above Christ on the cross. The sign was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin.