Day of St. Dmitry - how we celebrate memorial day in Galicia
Every year, November 8, Christians of the Eastern Rite (in Ukraine, it is Orthodox and Greek Catholics) celebrate Dmitry's day on which the church commemorates the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki. In general, it is a day of special remembrance for the deceased parents and other close relatives in the Eastern Slavic folk tradition.
Special memorial services are held in temples that day. Parishioners place candles, pray for the peace of the souls of the dead, asking the Lord for forgiveness of sins and for the gift of the Kingdom of Heaven. Traditionally, believers bring bread to the temple and put bread on the special table for the liturgy and commemoration of the dead.
This year, as in previous years, we visited the graves of deceased relatives in Yavoriv, a small town in Galicia. Once upon a time, when I was little, we used to go with my parents and grandparents to a village near Yavorov, to remember my great-grandparents. Unfortunately, this is a thing of the past, and now my family and I are visiting the graves of my father, who died three years ago, and my grandfather, who died this year. I pray for them every time I come to the cemetery, but in a memorial day I definitely must be there.
On the Memorial Day, priests go into the cemetery, drop down the graves with holy water, and relatives of the deceased light candles and lamps.
It was cold and raining this year, but it didn't stop us all from paying tribute to our deceased relatives.
Old cemetery in the evening: