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2 Oct: Memento Mori Monday

Memento Mori Monday: Samuel Emms, who died on January 15 1748 aged 50. Buried at All Saints Church in Swanton Morley.

The grave of Samuel Emms at Swanton Morley. CREDIT: Stacia Briggs

The inscription invokes the classical idea of memento mori, a Latin phrase which states plainly to all mankind “remember that you must die”. Memento mori brings the refrain from Ash Wednesday, “remember you are dust, and to dust you will return,” to our everyday life.

These words served as spiritual instruction through medieval times to the Victorian era — for those who fought in battle, those who went to sea, women in childbirth and those experiencing the trials of everyday life. We remember we will die, so that we will live - well.

Look out for a story about Samuel’s final resting place later in the month.


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