Wednesday, November 02, 2022

День мертвих

День мертвих, or "Day of the Dead," is an annual holiday to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed on.  May the spirit of a cherished relative visit you to share some memories.   

July 23, 2022
Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church and Cemetery at Zoria, Manitoba.

Approaching the church from the south it was all but hidden behind the tall spruce trees.  As I crossed the intersection...voilà!...a big beautiful church with cemetery.  Many of the cast concrete grave markers had just received a fresh coat of white paint.

July 24, 2022
Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery of Saint John the Baptist at Fork River, Manitoba.

A big blue sky with puffy white clouds and a band of blooming canola in the distance...this must be the prairies.

January 26, 2022
Saint Mary's Romanian Orthodox Cemetery near Kayville, Saskatchewan.

This is one of several shots of the cemetery taken in rather inhospitable conditions...blowing snow, gale force winds and freezing cold.  But it was all worth it...I love the overall dreamlike, ethereal ambience in the photo.  Yes, I'd do it again.

July 27, 2022
Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery (in the foreground) and Saint Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery (across the road) in Oakburn, Manitoba.

I'd stopped here the previous afternoon but the light just wasn't right and I was tired.  After a hearty breakfast the next morning I returned to see it in a better light all around. 

May 25, 2022
Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Cemetery near Frenchville, Saskatchewan.

The chainsaw sculptures are recent additions to this country cemetery and were carved by a local farmer and his daughter (who is a professional chainsaw carver).  The raw material for the carvings was once an old telephone pole.

August 21, 2022
Saint Elias Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cemetery at Sirko, Manitoba.

Seeing this old church and cemetery was a highlight of my August road trip to Manitoba.  They almost appear to be from another world, which, in a way, they are...unmistakably Eastern European.  Many of the older decorative grave markers had recently been repainted and the original inscriptions highlighted in black paint.  It's always reassuring to know that some still care about and for the dearly departed.

April 30, 2022
Saint Wolodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery near Cappon, Alberta.

My gardening work for spring was well under way but, sometimes enough is enough, so I decided it was time for a break...a drive in the country is always refreshing and a visit to Saint Wolodymyr's was long overdue.  Even though there hadn't been any spring rain yet that big prairie sky was more than welcoming.  The cemetery is in a particularly secluded area and a visit here unquestionably heightens one's sense of isolation (and that's not necessarily a bad thing...adds a little something to the adventure).

March 23, 2022
Dormition of Saint Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cemetery near Edmore, Saskatchewan.

The cemetery stretches along the front of the churchyard.  Hard to tell with all the snow but the grounds are well-kept as is the church.  A very special feature of the church is a seven-sided apse.  I must return for a closer look when the grass is green.  

November 28, 2021
Sacred Heart Cemetery near Bow Island, Alberta.

A small country cemetery surrounded by farm land in southern Alberta.  Many infants are buried here.  

June 27, 2022
Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cemetery at Kaleland, Alberta.

This exceptional stone church is gifted with a rounded apse and a trio of staggered cupolas, each topped with a simple wrought iron Orthodox cross.  The large cemetery flows along the back of the church and up the north side.  Headstones both new and old...some people have been buried here for over a century. 

July 22, 2022
Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cemetery of Saint Peter and Saint Paul near Merridale, Manitoba.

Late this past winter I decided to go on one last road trip before my gardening season was in full swing.  The snow was mostly gone on the drive eastwards...all was well in Moose Jaw, as it was in Yorkton.  But as soon as I left Yorkton I knew something was up...there was snow and lots of it, and once I'd traveled over the border the snowbanks were dominating the landscape.  Hmmm, not what I was expecting but after lunch in Roblin I decided to continue.  The country roads were soft from melting snow but I safely made it to Saint Peter and Paul where the snow drifts were just a little bit too much for me to handle.  At that point I decided it was best to turn around and go home.  But, a return trip in summer was in order so some months later I was on the road, again, for Manitoba (which proved to be much more hospitable when the roads are dry and the grass is green).  I was happy to finally get a chance to wander through the churchyard in these much friendlier weather conditions. The cemetery is on a rise just south of the church...and as you can see in the photo, the peonies were still in bloom. 

April 30, 2022
Josephstal Cemetery near Liebenthal, Saskatchewan.

A trail off the main road leads to's literally in the middle of a farmer's field.  The striking crucifix is central within the cemetery and the wrought iron grave markers complete the scene.  I love they way they all stand out against the stark prairie landscape.  Many of those buried here are marked as "unknown."  

June 23, 2022
Children's Cemetary near Cappon, Alberta.

A small cemetary where infants and children of the pioneers are buried...most of whom were never given a name. 

August 17, 2022
Saint Mary's Saint Alban's Anglican Church and Cemetery near Kaleida, Manitoba.

In southern Manitoba, just north of Snowflake, stands this beautiful stone church with an adjoining cemetery on the north and east sides.  The grounds are bordered by large deciduous trees with only a few evergreens placed here and there...a little unusual but awfully attractive nevertheless.

July 22, 2022
Tamarisk United Cemetery near Grandview, Manitoba.

This section of the cemetery sits next to a canola field.  The graves face eastward meaning the inhabitants get to watch the sunrise over the bright yellow blooms on summer mornings. 

October 10, 2022
Saint Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cemetery near Lepine, Saskatchewan.

The design of the church building is outstanding and stands proud alongside the graves of those who settled the area.  Services are still conducted here each and every Sunday morning and the cemetery is still in use.

October 10, 2022
Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cemetery near Codette, Saskatchewan.

A tranquil setting in the early evening light.

October 13, 2022
Holy Ascension Ukrainian Orthodox Chapel and Cemetery near Rhein, Saskatchewan.

This little church is known as Kaplychka  (meaning "little chapel").  Part of the cemetery wraps around one side and behind the church with more graves across the churchyard.  Not only is it a charming place to visit but the structure is also thought to be the oldest standing Orthodox Christian Temple in all of Saskatchewan (which simply adds to the appeal).  Well worth a stop when you're in the neighbourhood. 

"Respect the dead; 
you'll be joining them soon."
(Lyrics courtesy Robyn Hitchcock from his song "The Man who Loves the Rain.")


  1. Awesome post. The Children's Cemetary is a sad sight.

    1. Glad someone had the forethought to put up a fence around it. Thanks BW.

  2. All different and yet there's a sense of calm that radiates. I really wish when we did our one (and only) drive out west that we had had the time to visit some of the cemetaries in quest of some of my relatives who lived out there.

    1. They were all beautiful places to visit (regardless of what the weather was like). Maybe you'll get a chance to come out west again.