Sometimes one is asked “What are the differences between Catholics and Protestants?” This can be quite a difficult question to answer, for there are so many different places where one might begin. But now, thanks to the ever-helpful Orange Order, answering this question just got a little bit easier.
As the Guardian reports: “The Orange Order has advised its members and all those who consider themselves Protestant to stop using the phrase RIP to offer sympathy after a person has died because it is un-Protestant, un-biblical and a superstition connected to Catholicism.”
RIP stands for requiescat (or requiescant) in pace, “May he or she (or they) rest in peace” and calls to mind the opening words of the Mass for the Dead, which are “Requiem eternam dona eis, Domine”. RIP is therefore shorthand for a prayer – May they rest in peace; but as one of the spokesmen for the Orange Order has pointed out: “From a Protestant point of view, we believe that … when death comes a person either goes to be with Christ for all eternity, or into hell … when death comes that decision has been made and no decisions are made after death.”
The Orange Order are completely correct about this. The Reformers reject the doctrine of Purgatory, along with praying for the dead. An early Protestant in this country, Lady Jane Grey, urged people to pray for her at her execution while she was still alive, not after she had died.
Read more at Catholic Herald.