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.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Comments from New Cemeterians

Comment from Ellen Klinefelter:
This is the first time of have heard of you but, I am very interested.  My question is this.  My aunt was cremated and her ashes were spread over the water in Virginia.  Since she doesn't have a grave, how can I apply these indulgences to her?  My father's ashes are in a mausoleum in New Mexico and I live in Topeka, KS.  How can I do this for him?
What prayers need to be said and how can I present to Our Lord the very best in prayer for my loved ones?

Comment from KJ Atkins of Louisville, KY:
I have had a strong pull to pray for the dead.  I have had urges to leave my bed and go and walk the cemeteries in the middle of the night to pray for souls.  I now rejoice that I can call myself a cemeterian.

Comment from Cheryl Curtis of Georgia:
I live in GA, but my dearly missed husband who passed away last year is buried in MI.  How can I receive the indulgences since I am not physically able to be in MI to pray?

Comment from Judi Scherban:
Must you go to the cemetery where your deceased love one is buried to obtain the indulgence for them, or can you go to a nearby cemetery?
Do you have to meet the usual criteria for the plenary indulgence, Communion, Confession and prayer for the Holy Father?
Thank you!

Comment from Stumbling Sojourner of South Texas:
My son is buried in a Catholic cemetery 1200 miles away from where I live & I am not able to visit his gravesite.  How can I have indulgences benefit his soul if I cannot be at his gravesite to pray for him, or at the gravesites of other family members who are also far away from where I live?

Comment from Marge Rudock:
I heard that in the olden days 3 Mass's were said one after the other on Nov 2 for the died. Why doesn't the churches do this anymore. can you tell me more about it and the reason why the church did that. Long ago one of my friends said she would attend 3 different Mass's on that day by going to 3 different churches.  Why 3 churches and can you tell me more about that?

Comment from Alice Bonaiuto:
I have prayed for those family members when I go back home; however during time mentioned in Nov what about those indulgences when you can't fly home to pray at those cemeteries?

Comment from josephine sheppard: 
I'm so glad to find YOU here. I pray for the Souls in Purgatory.  Many ask me Why as they dont think there is a place as such. Well I can only say, Try it You got Nothing to Loose.   Sad that so many are crippled in their beliefs today.
I can see them so confused over so many religions and some I see wandering from one church to another and so very unsettled in all of it. 
I think I will ask our Dear Lord Jesus to give my indulgences to them instead that they will come to know the truth. and my prayer is they find it soon.  There is no peace anyplace outside the Catholic Church to me.  I know others are on the way there as searching can bring them there.  I respect other faith,s but see the mixed minds of it all.    ByGod,s Grace I am where I am. May He grace them also.  
I prayed for the holy souls since I was very young and thought everyone else did. So My husband died in 2003 and I go to the Graveside frequently and me and my little doggie pray for all in the site. so we dont miss any there as we are all in need of God,s help. Sometimes my grandsons come with me and I tell them about the prayers and how to kneel and place love gifts there.  That,s what I think Prayers are.  GOD,s Love Gifts.  Thank You for being there and God Bless Your work also.   In Christ.  Josephine.

Comment from Joanne Hettinger: 
How do you know that the deceased,knows when you go to the grave?

Comment from James Perry of Monterey, California: 
I've just finished reading the article on the mission of cemetarians on Spiritdaily. I need some advice. Do I make for the Lord to open wide the gates of purgatory and bring the souls there to His heavenly home? Or Shall I pray the Rosary? or both....? Please advise on how best I should proceed.

Comment from Diane Panella: 
Do you have to go to confession and receive communion to get a plenary indulgence from 11/1 - 11/8 when you also pray at a cemetary of a loved one?

Comment from Susan Paul: 
I have a question for you - my Mother was cremated and her remains rest in a columbarium, but no where near where I live. Is there any way my prayers for her can be effective as an indulgence for her from a distance? Thank you for any further information you can provide, especially through Nov 1 to Nov 8th.   

Comment from Marjorie & Mario Trafeli: 
1) Question for you: I am concerned as to why it would be necessary to visit the cemetery to receive indulgences for praying for the dead? the soul is not specifically there; it is everywhere, and nowhere, as there is no place or time in Heaven. Nor are there genes on the soul. thus, I see no way we will specifically see our loved ones there, as they arn't taking their bodies or their genes to the next life. The soul is pure energy.
2) I fear that the passing out of indulgences is the kind of thing that makes Catholics sound like magic chasers. Who authorized such a benefit as indulgences that can wipe away the stain of sin? It sounds more like phony hype made up perhaps by some well meaning cleric but in essence is malarchy. Martin Luther was so angry with the church for selling indulgences, that he left the church. And he was right. The church eventually thought it wrong too and stopped selling them. (Thank God!) But now you bring it up again. Man has no idea of what God wants other than what was directed to us through the Bible, The Commandments and several apparitions etc. The church can set standards that they believe will lead people to a higher standard in life, but to make eating meat on Friday or having food after midnight before receiving communion mortal sin is ridiculous. The Pope may be able to make procamations but I even doubt he can wipe away all sin by issueing an undulgence. I would just like the church to banish this type of hype. It sounds so phony. I love the church, but I hate to see it do malarchy hype to hold souls under it's power.

Comment from Phil D.: 
I loved the article on the holy souls in Purgatory. I have offered Masses for the UNKNOWN souls in Purgatory that have nobody to pray for them. God has given us our faith. Lets all use it to help both the living and dead. Blessed be God Forever.

Comment from Heather Smirnoff: 
As a funeral consultant, I get to go to a lot of cemeteries in the LA area. Before I converted to the faith, it was a chance for me to take some great pictures of interesting monuments and get out amongst history.
Now as a devoted Catholic, I pray as I shoot and always find at least one cemetery a day to go to in the first 8 days of November!

Comment from Vickie Barr: 
I am unable to visit the gravesites of my husband nor any of my family members due to distance.  Can one do this by proxie at another cemetery?

Comment from Marge Benke of Evansville, IN:
I used to go visit the cemetery when I was still able to drive, but am now homebound and power chair bound and am unable to even be taken to a cemetery to pray at the grave sites of my loved ones.  I am 80 years old and walking-handicapped since 18 months of age.
Is there any way I can obtain the indulgence for the Holy Souls in/at my home by saying prayers for them?  Also, are there certain prayers that are recommended to be prayed for these indulgences? 
Any information you may give me in reference to the above will be appreciated.