Arising from the tradition of holy cards featuring Roman Catholic saints and prayers, modern-day memorial and prayer cards are commonly produced by funeral homes and offered to visitors at memorial services and wakes as keepsakes. Relatives of the deceased will often continue to distribute them to friends and family and carry them in wallets or display them as memorial gestures. Slightly larger in size than a business card, they are generally laminated and typically feature a photograph of the deceased in addition to his or her name, birth and death dates, and a prayer or poem.
The Museum’s collection includes more than 500 memorial and prayer cards created in memory of 9/11 victims and donated to the collection by family members. A few prayer cards recovered from the disaster sites are also represented. Also in the collection are more traditional holy cards depicting Roman Catholic saints. These cards were commonly left near Ground Zero by visitors as tributes during the recovery period.
This feature displays a small selection of memorial and prayer cards from the Museum’s holdings.