Graveside visits, how does that work


evangelicals and fundamentalists

Do you visit the graves of your relatives as a part of a family tradition? Do you pray while there?

I assume that some of the reasons are the same as the Catholic purpose, but it seems like there should be some differences between the two traditions based on the belief in sola scriptura and OSAS that some faiths hold. I’ve heard protestant claim that Catholics make to big a deal out of someone life after death. That’s were the question come from.

Do you pray for the repose of the soul of the person?


Yes, I pray for the dead. Those I know and those I do not know, whom I believe are in purgatory. Prayer for the ones in hell does them no good. because prayer cannot help them there.
Deacon Ed B


Y’know, I have often thought the same sort of thing.

I have been told many times that the dead know nothing, (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and yet I don’t know many people of any religious stripe that don’t visit a grave site of someone they loved and don’t talk to them. That seems to indicate that they inherently believe that their faithful departed can indeed hear and see us. BTW, that verse actually only shows that at that time (and even today) a great many Jews do not believe in a resurrection of the dead. That same controversy persisted even in Our Lord’s time and is indicated in Acts when Paul was on trial.

Catholics of course have no problem with that because we understand the the Communion of Saints (link to MP3 Bible study) and that we are indeed surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, (Hebrews 12:1).

I know that when I visit the graves of my Mom and Dad, I talk my head off. I miss them and look forward to the time when we are together again in a better place. :slight_smile:

I admit to not understanding the disconnect between the stated beliefs of so many n-Cs and their actual practice in this case.


This is a real example of why sola scriptura and a fundamentalist interpretation is so pathetically flawed - it does not permit private, natural, God given, in-your-heart, revelation.

Each of us naturally inwardly pine for a lost loved one. We never ever fully “get over it”. There is a reason for that. God writes that longing in our hearts as “His Law”.

If we were animals with perishable souls incapable of true relational love we would not have these feelings. In a sense death ratifies that we do have a soul and that our feelings of loss come from more than just a simple memory of “good times” stored within the synapses of our cellular brain. The emotions of happiness and euphoria over transient events (e.g. winning a contest, graduating from college, getting that first job etc.) rarely linger at the same initial intensity for more than a few days. Yet the feelings of loss and separation at death linger and only gradually diminish in intensity until a time when we just accept a dull but ever present ache as part of our life.

No matter what we are taught in religious study there are few people who after losing a loved one can turn their back on a loved one and say “they are with God now so there is nothing more I can do”. It is our human nature to want to remember the departed person and celebrate them on special days. It is human nature to want to go back to the grave or in quiet moments speak with them even though we know that their spirit no longer lingers “there”.

Why is this? Because no matter what one is taught none of us truly believes that the lost person is truly gone from our hearts. It is because there are compelled obligations of respect and reverence owed them in debt as thanks for having been a part of our lives. What rational person pays a debt of respect to a dead person while believing that the one (or the other) can not benefit from it? Who can possibly believe that there is no relational life after death? Who can naturally believe that paying respect is not respectful to God’s law? Who is to really say that God does not weigh our tears, prayers and good reverence for a departed one (with His own) as a measure of how much that person loved and inspired love in others?

How can anyone really believe doctrines that go against the natural human feeling and charity that we owe our loved ones the benefits of our prayers and thoughts and that they can benefit from them?



James that was beautiful! I never thought about that before but it makes perfect sense. Thank you for your insight!


That was just beautifully put James. Thanks



:confused: Yeah but…

How do fundamentalists and Evangelicals explain this? :hmmm:

The question remains unanswered…:whistle:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit