The Apostolate of Cemeterians is as old as creation itself. It has always had many diverse dimensions depending on religion, race and culture. Since the beginning of time, people have prayed for their deceased loved ones in their own manner.
An invitation to be a Cemeterian has been extended to all the living, the Church Militant, from the Church Suffering, to pray for them, since they are unable to pray for themselves any longer. The ministry of Cemeterian urges the living to actually go to the graveside and pray for their deceased loved ones, so that the suffering souls may receive special graces and indulgences.
“An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to the 8th of November; on other days of the year it is partial. (Enchiridion of Indulgences)
“The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead. Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them”. Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1032.
“An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin”. Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead.Catechism of the Catholic Church #1471.
“Since the faithful departed, now being purified, are also members of the same Communion of Saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins, may be remitted. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1479.
“Through indulgences, the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sins for themselves and also for the souls of purgatory”. Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1498.
“And if the faithful offer indulgences in suffrage for the dead, they cultivate charity in an excellent way and while raising their minds to Heaven, they bring a wiser order into the things of this world. Although indulgences are in fact free gifts, nevertheless, they are granted for the living as well as for the dead.”
“One day, rapt in ecstasy, Blessed Mary of Quito, saw in the midst of a large space, an immense table covered with heaps of silver, gold, rubies, pearls and diamonds and at the same time, she heard a voice saying, ‘These riches are public property; each one may approach and take as much as he pleases’. God made known to her that this was a symbol of indulgences.
The purpose of this ministry is to encoople to go the graveside of their deceased loved ones and pray for their release from purgatory. They know when we go to their grave. If your loved one has already been purified and gone to Heaven, our Heavenly Father gives our prayers to another languishing soul.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at cemeterians@gmail.com.
This Apostolate has received the approval and encouragement of Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans, La.