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Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...
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Author:  SuperCathNorman [ Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

Okay....


Weird question here.

As you guys know, my husband's uncle just passed away about a week ago. And it got me to thinking.

Do you regularly visit gravesites?

My dad's side of the family is very diligent in visting as often as they can. It is very important to them. Taking flowers, keeping things clean, visiting for holidays and such.

My mom's side is the exact opposite. I can't say the NEVER visit, but it just really isn't that big of a deal to them.


I tend to take my mom's view of things. Yes, I think it is very important to go though the whole viewing and funeral process. But once someone is buried, I really feel no urge or responsibility to visit the grave. I don't know.

I think I feel that way because I don't really view the person as being there - buried in the cemetary. Yes, I suppose the body is there, but I don't really feel like THEY are there. Does that make any sense? I feel much closer to someone who has died by just talking out loud to them. Similar to what you would say or do in prayer. I feel like they are in my presence when I'm "talking to" or "praying to" them.... not just when I would be visiting their gravesite.

So, anyways, I don't feel much of an urge to visit the gravesite. I just wondered about some other takes on this. And I have no idea if this is the "right" way to view it in terms of Catholic thought.

So.... what say you?


P.S. - Feel free to move this to another forum. Lyceum perhaps? Wasn't sure where it was best to go.

Author:  SuperCathNorman [ Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

Hum, no takers. Well, going to bed. Hopefully some responses in the AM.

Author:  Molly [ Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

:wave I'll bite....

We're somewhere in the middle.
We go during Memorial Day weekend and put out flowers (sometimes real, sometimes fake) and clean things up a little.
We obviously go back to retrieve our baskets when we have to (per the cemetary's rules).
In between and/or around those times....? Well....I admit I rarely go otherwise.
My Mom will sometimes go some extra times to her parents' graves and check on things.
But admittedly...that's about it.
It's not that it's not important...I'd say it's not our #1 thing, but we don't completely ignore it, either.
Did that make any sense? :)

Author:  mea [ Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

I don't remember anyone, ever, visiting a grave.

Mr. Mea's mother, however, faithfully went to his father's grave on his birthday and their anniversary.

Author:  Lisa1515 [ Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

Neither of my parents were grave visitors. I remember my mom saying that she hadn't been to the grave site where her mother was buried until her father was buried in the same plot 35 years later. Her sister, on the other hand, had a daughter buried in the same cemetery not far from their mother and she visited often.

I feel the same as you. The person is no longer there. The soul has left the body and the body is what is in the ground. Even with that opinion, I find great comfort visiting the grave site. My mother died when I was 24 years old. Whenever I had changes going on in my life, I'd go sit at the grave site. Most times I just sat there. It was so peaceful. My mother is buried in a national cemetery so they keep the grounds very clean. The first year or so after she died, I'd go and visit and then visit her sister. It helped me to visit her. Once I got married, I only visited a time or two and then I moved far away. I think it was about 10 years before I went back and that was because we buried my father. The cemetery where they are buried is so peaceful. I think for me it was a great place to go where there were no distractions. I could just sit peacefully in the grass.

I actually find cemeteries comforting. I think it is the tranquility, the calm, the quiet.

Lisa

Author:  Notnew [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

As a child, I always went with my mother. Usually a couple of times a year.
I could hardly go after my mother died, 1973 (age 57). Four years later my dad died, 1977 (age 57).
We moved back to dh's hometown 4 hrs away from the cemetary. My middle brother
was so good to do the extra work at the graves--small private country cemetary--
mowed, but always needs extra cleaning. In 2004, my brother died at the age of 52.

We usually make the drive at Memorial Day. We didn't get to go this year. My youngest
brother and family went, they are about an hour away from the cemetary. So. Yes.
We do our best to get there, not as often as we would like though.

Linda

Author:  Doom [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

I don't really see the point of visiting graves, and I am pretty sure that when I am dead I won't care whether or not anyone ever visits me

Indeed, you can bury my body, down by the highway side....I don't care where you bury my body when I'm dead and gone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MCHI23FTP8

Author:  Doom [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

Of course, there is also the school of thought which says that there is one kind favor I ask of you, please see that my grave is kept clean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S8Rjwwo ... re=related

Author:  AdAltareDei [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

Have you ever gone to the tomb of a saint to pay respects or to ask him to intercede for you?

If a person dies in a state of grace, then his remains are holy relics.

Author:  Doom [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

AdAltareDei wrote:
Have you ever gone to the tomb of a saint to pay respects or to ask him to intercede for you?

If a person dies in a state of grace, then his remains are holy relics.


Is this supposed to be a response to me? How do you not get that I am quoting a song? Especially when I include a link to the song?

Author:  faithfulservant [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

since it was posted at the same time as yours, i imagine it was not directed at you

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

The Church considers visiting graves not only a good thing, but a very important and holy thing to do. The attitude that it really doesn't matter what you do with the body after death smacks of Platonism at best (which is already subtly anti-Christian in drawn out implications) and downright rejection of Christianity at worst

My body is not some other thing other than I. My body stands to my soul soul stand as wax does to a waxen seal.

The Church to encourage visiting graves, besides the numerous cemeteries she keeps (including until the 1983 CIC expecting every parish to have a cemetery) also gives indulgences for such holy work

A partial indulgence is granted whenever one visits a cemetery and prays, at least mentally, for the poor souls. Within the octave of All Saints (Nov 1-8) this indulgence is plenary. It is applicable to the poor souls

It is an act of the virtue of religion, and can be considered both a corporal work of mercy (an extension of burying the dead) and a spiritual work, insofar as we are aided in praying for the poor souls. To impugn or trivialize or to deny the point of such is an act of impiety. One notes that in countries that have historical and for a long while been Catholic cemeteries are not hidden away as much. And it is still common for rural parishes in some places to have them. Whenever one passes by or through they should stop, if only for a moment, and pray for the poor souls.

Not to mention to immense respect owed to the body. We are not Platonists. We do not think we are our souls. We believe that we are men, which means that we have flesh and bone. These cannot be separated from the essence of man. And while it is an act of humility to subject our body to the worm and wear of ages (one reason the Church favors burial over pagan cremation), the honoring of the bodies of the dead is an affirmation of the belief in the resurrection.

Unfortunately I rarely get to visit cemeteries...there are no near by ones

Author:  faithfulservant [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

thanks for mentioning the indulgences ped...you beat me to it...i always go visit the graves of my relatives...all the way back to my GG grandparents anytime i go home...but then since they are all in the same cemetery...it makes it kinda easy

Author:  SA-Mom [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

My family is diligent about observing holidays and birthdays. Grave blankets for Christmas, lilies for Easter and a visit on the deceased's birthday. Rarely if ever does anyone visit the cemetary except for those days.
Now, around here it is a different story. Graves are elaborately decorated and frequently visited and maintained. It isn't unusual to see decorations in the trees in graveyards let alone on the graves themselves.

Author:  Out Riding Fences [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

I live in Pennsylvania but all my dead friends and family are 1200 miles away in Louisiana, so no... I never visit graves. I would if I lived nearby though.

Author:  Peregrinator [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

Doom wrote:
I don't really see the point of visiting graves

Gaining an indulgence for one of the Holy Souls?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

I find cemeteries a very quiet and peaceful place to walk. They don't bother me; I don't bother them.

Author:  anawim [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

I never visit a grave site. The person isn't there.

Author:  kage_ar [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

The parish where I work also maintains the Catholic cemetary. It is not on the grounds, however, I have spent more time around graves in the last two years than in my entire life prior.

I walk around or just sit there and pray. We take the youth group there, to talk about the 4 Last Things. I always tell them "there are some Saints buried here".

We have an Altar and Mass is celebrated there at least once each year. We have a memorial for the unborn and we pray the rosary for life there.

Author:  Dominicatella [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting a Gravesite - Kinda Deep Question...

A good place to pray for the deceased and to reflect on death and the last things. The bodies deserve respect, so keeping the area nice and leaving flowers or whatever seems appropriate to me, especially if you have good reason to believe that the person died in a state of grace.

I don't have any graveyards within walking distance anymore. My parents are not grave-visitors, but then again no family members are buried close by. I remember once visiting my grandparents' graves at Arlington but that's it.

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