Honoring thy mother and father--how to if they have passed away?


*I didn’t have my parents for very long on this earth. Thankfully, I had SOME time with them, and I thank God everyday for that time. They were remarkable people, and I have so many blessed photos, etc of them. They are buried in NJ, I live in Florida. It has been years since I have visited there to visit their graves. My question is, are there people whom will visit your loved one’s graves for a fee? When I had visited about 5 yrs ago, I could not believe how their stones were overgrown with weeds, and it looked like no one had come around…and we have a lot of family up north. :frowning: But, I know people get busy.

Also, how do YOU honor your deceased parents, if your parents are no longer here? Is there still a way to follow God’s commandment, even after our parents die? *


*Oh, and is there a way in your eyes, that someone can blatantly DIShonor their parents, after they have died? I remember my sister talking about our mother in a disparaging way, years ago. She has since stopped doing that, as I told her I didn’t appreciate hearing that. Yes, our mom had depression issues, but she wasn’t faking it. (long story, don’t even want to get into all that here) Thank goodness she stopped doing that, and now we speak lovingly about our parents–good or bad, they were our parents!

But, was that a possible example of how my sister dishonored our mother?

Can we break this Commandment, even if our parents are dead?*


Whatever girl - You live your life as a strong Catholic, a good mother and a good wife. You are already honoring your parents by the way you live your life :slight_smile:

I understand your need to make sure their burial spot is honored as well. Since you are so far away, maybe you can contact a specific family member that you trust to take a couple hours out of their time to visit the burial sites and clean them up a bit. Tell them you are happy to pay for some new flowers to be planted. If there is no family you can rely on - maybe contact your parents home church that they attended and see if someone there who has a natural green thumb can take the time to do this and you will happily donate x amount of dollars to the church in your parent’s name as a gratitude.


As far as your sister - it is a natrual part of becoming an adult to have issues with your parents. I imagine this doesn’t dissapear just because your parents have passed on. It is common to see someone in a perfect, idealistic light once they have passed on but that isn’t always the truth (not saying your parents weren’t great people, I am speaking in general terms here). But sometimes unresolved pain is still there, and this sounds like the case for your sister. In a way, she probably even resented them for passing on and leaving her behind with so many burdens and no parents to turn to. I do not think she was dishonoring them by pointing out issues she had with them, it was her way of working through things most likely. Since I don’t know what she actually said versus what actually happened with your mom, I can’t really say much. I can see where your concern is though.


*Thank you Mia. :slight_smile: Yes, that is a good idea…only problem is, I have kept in semi touch with some of my cousins, but all of my dad’s brothers and sisters, who we were close to many many years ago, have passed away. I traveled over to the other side of the street, to see my father’s parents’ graves, and they were valdalized! :mad: Honestly, why do people do this? :frowning:

So, since I have lost touch, I don’t know if I’d seem imposing on them…but, it’s worth a shot…thank you for the idea. I always say, we’re going to get back to Jersey, and we never do…something always pops up. I don’t want to go without dh–and his work is always erratic.

I ask my parents for their prayers…and this may sound a little out there, but I was thinking of joining an anti-smoking activist group here in Tampa, to honor my dad. He died from smoking, I know that is the sole reason. He smoked so much when I was little…and no one could get him to stop. :frowning: Is that another way of honoring them, I have been wondering?

I think you are right too…if we live our lives the way God intends, that is in itself honoring them. My mom and dad were devout Catholics, and I am ashamed when I became a cafeteria Catholic years ago. I am no longer such, but you know, sometimes I feel badly about that…

My dad prayed every night with me, and my mom always prayed the Rosary. I know that the foundation was built largely due to their influence. *


The only other thing I can think of is if you carry any anger or resentment forgive them and if that is tough dont speak ill of them.
This is a conversation I just had last night with some people, they were talking about trying to make right a bad relationship with a deceased parent:( .
It sounds like you had a good relationship with no real regrets:thumbsup:


You can have Masses said for them, say the rosary for them, set some money aside to give to a charity in their name. Nice to use your Dad’s rosary.

I thought most cemeteries offer perpetual care. Does your family’s burial plot come with that? Shouldn’t it be the job of the cemetery manager? If not, you might want to ask your extended family if they’d like to secure perpetual care for all.


My daddy will be gone 21 years, this coming November. The last time I was at the cemetery was the day of his funeral. I have never returned, to visit. :frowning:

And for many years, I didn’t even have Masses offered for him. It was too painful, to even think about it. Because to visit the cemetery or have Masses offered, would be to admit that he had died. That was a very selfish attitude, on my part. Thankfully, my thinking on this… has been straightened out. I’ve started arranging Masses for my dad. It breaks my heart that I can’t go and visit the cemetery; because he’s buried in California and I now live on the east coast.

I admire your desire to “honor” your folks in some way. The best way I can think of right now… is to arrange Masses for them from time to time.

God bless.


This was my take on it. Masses, donations to charity etc. Have their picture up in your home. Tell your children about them.

The cemeteries that my family are buried in all have perpetual care. Look into that.


**Your love of Jesus Christ is the ultimate honor to your parents!

They are surely proud of you and smiling down from Heaven!!!
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!




No, everyone is responsible for their own plot, I found out after visiting there…You know, maybe at one point, that might have been the case…I remember going as a kid and the entire cemetery was always taken care of, but about 5 yrs ago, it looked like a mess…not just my parents’ graves, but the whole place was overgrown with weeds…it looked scary.

I like the idea of having mass said for them…maybe I should do this on the anniversary of their deaths. Or their birthdays? Thanks for the thoughts. *


*Hi Seatuck;

Yes, I do share stories with my kids about them. Show them pictures, and recently, I framed my mom and dad’s classic black and white wedding picture…what a classic! Sits right out in the open on our piano. I think that is why I’m fond of black and white photos for my own family. You know what is terribly sad though? During a visit last year at my sister’s house, she has a hope chest filled with old family heirlooms …she gave me my dad’s wedding ring. Ugh, so priceless! I wore it as a thumb ring…and I lost it! It must have slipped off of my thumb without me realizing it …I couldn’t believe it. I even posted about it on here, and I never ever found it. Honestly, my sister had the ring for nearly 30 years, and I lose it within the first week I had it? :frowning: sigh*


*Mia, I think you hit the nail on the head. My sister, being 13 yrs older than me, saw my parents in very different lights than me. My dad was always my hero, to her, he kept her imprisoned taking care of my often times depressed mother. She resented my mom, and I think this is why my sister didn’t want to become dependent on a man. She is doing much better with all of this, so many years later…but, while I knew my mom wasn’t well, I always loved her. She was a remarkable cook, prayed the Rosary, taught me how to be a good speller, and was a good wife, when she didn’t have her depressed moments. I think that what I learned about their deaths, is this…that they weren’t perfect, and that if they had lived all of these years to watch me grow up, it doesn’t mean life would have been ‘magically’ better. I always blamed bad things that happened to me in life, on my parents’ deaths. Praise be to God, that I no longer think like this…

But, without God, I know I wouldn’t feel this way. Thanks for your input here-it rings true for me. *


Whatevergirl, I remember when you lost your Dad’s ring.:o I would agree with the others that suggest having Masses said is a great way to honor your parents. Also, when you say your Rosary you could dedicate a decade for each of your parents and the other three for your DH and children. Our Lady of Fatima calls us to offer prayers, especially the Holy Rosary, for our relatives in purgatory.

I think your day to day life honors your parents pretty well too.:thumbsup: I know they are proud of what a great women and leader of your family you have become as they look down from the heaven’s.:slight_smile:


Thanks GD. I just wish my kids could have met them. Oh well, someday in heaven. :slight_smile:


you can find if your parents’ church or parish has a group that you can contract with to keep the grave up, If you have been paying for this service, investigate as you would any other business fraud.

best way to honor them is to pass on their values and memory to your children. When you do something because your mom did it that way, tell your kids (even if it is silly, like the way you make gravy). Paint a picture of them through stories so your kids can share your memories of them. Even write a story about them (as my grandma did for us, about her parents and siblings and growing up years–we treasure that memoir today).


This is a really good suggestion, and it helped me to realize… that we have done this (without really thinking about it) for my nephew and niece; who were very young when their “Papa” died. My nephew was 5 and my niece was just 7 months old. She doesn’t remember him, at all. And my nephew, only vaguely.

But because we always share stories about “Papa” and keep his pictures handy… they know who he is and how much he loved them. Despite the fact that he’s been gone for over 20 years… he has, nevertheless… been a part of their lives. :slight_smile:


Think back to whatever ministries that you parents were involved in. Perform some act of charity, within that ministry.

If they were involved in ministry to the sick or aged, then go volunteer at a nursing home. If they helped with youth ministry, then volunteer some time at the CCE classes in your parish.

The best way to honor them would be to continue the ministerial work that they did on earth.


Are your folks buried in a Catholic cemetary?

Ours has a group of volunteers who come out 2X each year to clean up. Perhaps you could help get that started at the cemetary where your parents are buried?

About the honor, live your life and speak of your parents the way you want YOUR kids to do about you when you are gone.


*No, unfortunately, not buried in a Catholic cemetery. I am going to take your advice though, as far as seeing what I can do relating to maybe getting something set up, a volunteer kind of thing. It might be hard, considering the distance issue. You’re right, it brought awareness to my husband and me to discuss such things with our kids! *

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