Lviv cemeteries to be lit with red and white candles

Fifty thousand red and white candles will be lit at Lviv cemeteries on All Saints’ Day. The Memory Light for Lychakiv project has brought together the residents of Lviv, as well as scouts and pupils from Poland. The candles will be placed at Lychakiv, Yanov and the Defenders of Lviv Cemeteries (the “Lviv Eaglets”).

This year, coordinators from Poland, including TVP Rzeszow, have joined the project organised by the Polish Consulate in Lviv and Radio Lviv. “We’re also planning to deliver the candles to Striltshiska, Mostyska and Knykuta. These are towns in the Lviv Oblast, typically with Polish majorities,” Beata Wolańska, the project coordinator from TVP Rzeszow, told us. “We’ll be laying candles most of all at Polish graves, among others those of Gabriela Zapolska, Maria Konopnicka and Seweryn Goszczyński. Together with the Polish community in Lviv, we want the white and red lights to shine on all Polish graves. We’re going to place fifty thousand candles in cemeteries across the Lviv Oblast,” Wolańska added.

It is not only on 1 November that Poland remembers its dead buried in the former eastern borderlands. Conservation and restoration work on Polish tombstones is carried out almost throughout the year. Such activities are the responsibility of the Cultural Heritage Foundation, among others. Some 12–13 tombstones are restored each year at Lychakiv Cemetery, many of them in extreme disrepair, as was the case until recently with Gen. Józef Miączyński’s gravestone, which depicts a kneeling angel holding a sleeping baby. The gravestone was restored this year.

Lychakiv Cemetery abounds with other headstones and monuments waiting to be restored. Most of them are real artistic gems made by such well-known sculptors as Hartman Witwer, Abel Maria Perier and Feliks Krasucki. Figures asleep or crying are the most common motif found on them. The impression they make on visitors is so overwhelming that the cemetery is often called the “park of dreams.” The necropolis is an important site that bears witness to the history of Lviv and Poland. Many major figures are buried here, among them November Uprising soldiers, with one of the most famous, Julian Ordon, laid to rest at Lychakiv. February Uprising insurgents have their own section, too, with Szymon Wizunas Szydłowski, the Ensign of Lithuania, resting there. What Polish people hold especially dear is the cemetery’s section bearing the tombs of Battle of Lviv combatants: pupils and students called the Lviv Eaglets.

As is the case each year at noon on 1 November, a Mass will be jointly celebrated there by Roman and Greek Catholic priests. The faithful will first pray on the Cemetery of Lviv Eaglets, and later attend a service at the graves of the Sich Riflemen, Ukrainian troops that fought for Lviv.

gpc.png Paulina Mikulska

Source: Gazeta Polska Codziennie