June 16, 2019


The Ukrainian Catholic faithful of Winnipeg and the surrounding area will fondly remember the great annual memorial services held at All Saints Cemetery around the feast of Pentecost or on All Saints Sunday. The many hundreds of people that gathered at the cemetery... the police-escorted motorcade bringing the Metropolitan Archbishop... the chartered buses bringing people from the city... the afternoon of family memorial panakhyda services as all the clergy of the city tried accommodate hundreds of requests that a pankhyda be prayed at each family plot... the picnics... and especially the opening panakhydas, wreath-laying and the inspiring speeches - both religious and patriotic.

Albeit with smaller gatherings and less participation, the tradition continues. This year was no exception - in spite of the threat of rain. Clergy joined the Rector of the Cathedral (that operates the cemetery), Monsignor Michael Buyachok to lead a gathering of representatives of the many Ukrainian religious and cultural organizations and other faithful from various parishes in memorial services.

The afternoon began with a panakhyda at the principal memorial at the front of the cemetery. Monsignor than spoke to the crowd about the occasion and then invited representatives of the organizations to come forward to lay wreaths at the memorial. Some of the group then moved over to the grave of the late Metropolitan of Winnipeg, Most Rev. Maxim (Hermaniuk, CSsR) for a panakhyda. The two priests that were ordained by the late Archbishop, Msgr. Buyachok and Chancellor Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski, also stepped forward to bless the grave with the sprinkling of holy water. One more panakhyda was prayed at the group of clergy graves on the far side of memorial, where a number of priests and deacons are buried together with family members. Then all the people present went off to pray at the graves of loved ones, asking the clergy present to join them to lead a panakhyda and bless the graves.

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