On November 1, the Catholic Church commemorates the Solemnity of All Saints. This day is associated for many with a candle, the grave of a loved one, a cemetery, a bunch of flowers, prayer, and remembrance of those who have preceded us on the way to eternity.
In Poland, All Saints’ Day is commemorated every single year. On this day, Poles go with families to the cemetery and visit the graves of their loved ones, friends, parents, and relatives. They place flowers and light the “flame of hope,” believing that they are already enjoying glory in the Heavenly Father’s house. The Church on this day honours all those who have already entered heavenly glory and shows the faithful pilgrims still on earth the path that is to lead them to holiness.
Nowadays, candles and lights are burning at graves and cemeteries as a symbol of remembrance of the dead. Poles also make offerings which are known as “wypominki.” This practice consists of writing down the names of the deceased on earlier prepared pieces of paper, asking that the whole Church prays for them. Poles visit not only the graves of people they had known but also all those graves of, for example, Unknown Soldiers, and mass graves of the victims.
In November, we particularly think of those who are no longer with us. ️
On All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, Poles visit cemeteries, lit by the gleam of candles and decorated with beautiful wreaths, to honour the memory of their loved ones. #AllSaintsDay✨ pic.twitter.com/HrX5cXHnA2
— Poland.pl (@Poland) November 1, 2022
In general, All Saints’ Day is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honour of all the saints of the church, whether they are known or unknown. All Saints’ Day has been celebrated in the Catholic Church since the 9th century. It was designated on November 1 by Pope Gregory IV.
The day after All Saints’ Day (November 2) is celebrated as a day to remember the dead (All Souls’ Day).