“Night at the Cemetery” will take place at Mount Olivet in Wheat Ridge on Oct. 25, 2019 from 7-9 p.m., for middle and high school school students.
Each night, attendees can expect to see Julia Greeley, Pope Saint John Paul II and a few other saints. They will also have the chance to meet a gravedigger and other souls to learn more about cemeteries in an interactive way.
“Part of it is catechetical, for them to learn about what cemeteries are and what they do,” said John Miller, Outreach Coordinator for Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services. “But the other part is to meet some of the characters along the way.”
After walking through the cemetery and meeting the holy deceased (played by actors), attendees will ultimately arrive at the Gallagher Chapel where the high school students will pray the Liturgy of the Hours and the middle school students will celebrate Mass.
Miller hopes the event is not only entertaining, but that the students learn more about the Communion of Saints and realize “that the focus, especially in the month of November, is on praying for the dead, as well as praying to those who intercede for us in heaven and asking them to pray for us on earth,” he said.
Cemeteries were once places people would gather for picnics and to honor their loved ones, said Miller, but that’s not as popular with today’s culture.
“I always think of how lonely [the graves look],” he said. “You look at some of the markers and headstones of people that have been buried here almost a hundred years or even less than that, and you’re like, ‘I wonder who’s visited over all these years, how many years they haven’t had anyone visit and place a flower or say a prayer for that person at their grave.’”
Miller hopes “Night at the Cemetery” helps young people learn the importance of “honoring the dead, praying for the dead and knowing [cemeteries] are beautiful places,” he said.
“Night at the Cemetery” is free to attend. RSVP to your parish youth minister or to John Miller by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published October 10, 2018 and was updated on October 3, 2019.