Can you help me explain praying for the dead?

I have a Protestant friend that is inquirying why Catholics pray for the dead, “are they not either in Heaven or Hell?” He ask what good would it do? Other than the book of 2 Macc 12: 43-46, where in scripture can I find other mentions of praying for the dead? Since, he is Baptist he doesn’t put much weight in Maccabees. Thanks! Phil

These links should be helpful for understanding the Catholic Church’s teachings on praying for the dead. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.
Recommended Reading:
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Purgatory**
]* The Roots of Purgatory**
]* If the souls in purgatory are destined for heaven, why do we pray for them?**
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