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Prayer To Recite When Lighting The Yahrzeit Candle

The Yahrzeit candle, from the Hebrew word meaning “time”, is a special prayer candle intended to burn for 24 hours for one who has died. The tradition originated in 1666, and the custom of lighting Yahrzeit candles began in Eastern Europe and came to America with Austrian and Lithuanian Jews. Traditionally you recite a portion of a Psalm, usually Psalms 119, or other prayers of remembrance. The Yahrzeit candle is lit on the anniversary of a death. Its purpose is to keep the memory of a loved one alive and give meaning to their death through honorable remembrance. May their memory be a blessing. One of my favorite things to do is light the Yahrzeit candle in memory of my grandmother who passed away. I can’t tell you how many people I have surprised when I tell them it’s not a birthday candle and that it means something bigger than just another year. In Judaism, we light Yahrzeit candles on the anniversary of someone’s death.

Before the memorial candle is lit, it must be checked to make sure that no pieces of wax have accumulated in the grooves. Also, if an empty space appears in the grooves, a pierced metal piece should be inserted into it. We request that you send special prayers of Succor and Blessings from Above for the departed one. Although it may seem impossible to believe now, they are with those who have gone before them, in aplace of Great Com Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed (or Blessed) is Your Name and we thank You for the life of our loved one who has gone on to a higher place. We pray that You will always watch over him/her and keep them in Your loving arms. This year has been so hard without your presence here on earth. It was painful to lose you, but we know that you are in a better place, where the sun shines all day, all the children are happy, and there is no pain, suffering or sadness.

Prayer To Recite When Lighting The Yahrzeit Candle The Yahrzeit candle is lit while reciting the Kaddish, and it can be based on the time between a death and a burial, or any time after. You light a Yahrzeit candle to remember someone who has died, for their soul in heaven, for yourself, for their surviving family members and friends. The yahrzeit, or Year-to-a-Day candle is lit for up to a year after the passing of a loved one. Speaking the following Shemoneh Esrei prayer regularly around the time that an individual’s yahrzeit is observed can be an uplifting way to remember and honor those who have passed on before us. The Yahrzeit or the Memorial Candle is the candle that indicates an anniversary of the death of a loved one. It is not lit on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Because of this, we often pray that our parents who passed away should not see any unusual activity since they are no longer physically alive to witness it. This prayer has been translated into English below. My father has always been a great man. He is a truthful person who loves his family and values their opinions. From the moment I got home from work, we had dinner together in my small kitchen. He walked slowly to my living room, breathing in deeply as if nothing could affect him while he was in my house.

Prayer To Recite When Lighting The Yahrzeit Candle

A Yahrzeit, which is Yiddish for “a year’s time,” is the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Every year it is Jewish custom, the minhag, to light a special candle that burns for 24 hours, called a Yahrzeit candle. The candle is lit on the Yahrzeit date of that person’s death, as well as on certain holidays and during the initial mourning period immediately following a death.

Traditionally, Yahrzeit candles are lit for the same deceased relatives that one would recite the Mourner’s Kaddish for—parents, spouses, siblings, and children. But there is no reason one could not light a Yahrzeit candle to honor the anniversary of the death of someone who doesn’t fall into one of these categories such as a friend, grandparent, boyfriend or girlfriend. Jewish religious law (halachah) does not require lighting Yahrzeit candles, but the tradition has become an important part of Jewish life and mourning.

When to Light a Yahrzeit (Memorial) Candle

A Yahrzeit candle is traditionally lit on the following days:

  • Each day during the week of Shiva (mourning) immediately following a death.
  • Every year at sundown on the eve of the Yahrzeit (anniversary of the death).
  • Every year at sundown preceding the start of Yom Kippur and at sundown preceding the last day of the holidays of Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot. These times are when the Yizkor Memorial Prayer Service usually occurs in synagogues.

Calculating a Yahrzeit Hebrew Date

The date of a Yahrzeit is traditionally calculated according to the Hebrew calendar and is the anniversary of the death, not the burial. Given the secular calendar date that the individual passed away,’s Yahrzeit Calendar can be used to generate a list of corresponding Yahrzeit dates for the next ten years. While the Yahrzeit date is usually calculated based on the Hebrew calendar, this is only a custom (minhag), so if someone would prefer to use the secular calendar anniversary of the death rather than the Hebrew date, this is permissible.

Lighting the Yahrzeit Candle

Special Yahrzeit candles that burn for 24 hours are generally used for the Yahrzeit but any candle that will burn for 24 hours can be used. The candle is lit at sundown when the Yahrzeit date begins because in the Hebrew calendar days begin at sunset. Only one Yahrzeit candle is generally lit per household, but individual family members can each light their candle as well. If you will be leaving the candle unattended be sure to place it on a safe surface. Some families use a special ​Yahrzeit electric lamp instead of a candle today for safety reasons since the candle will be burning for 24 hours.

Prayers to Recite

There are no special prayers or blessings that must be recited while lighting a Yahrzeit candle. Lighting the candle presents a moment to remember the deceased or to spend some time in introspection. Families may choose to use the candle lighting as an opportunity to share memories of the deceased with one another. Others recite appropriate Psalms such as Psalms 23, 121, 130 or 142.

The Meaning of the Yahrzeit Candle and Flame

In Jewish tradition, the candle flame is often thought to symbolically represent the human soul, and lighting candles is an important part of many Jewish religious occasions from Shabbat to Passover seders. The connection between candle flames and souls derives originally from the Book of Proverbs (chapter 20 verse 27): “The soul of man is the candle of God.” Like a human soul, flames must breathe, change, grow, strive against the darkness and, ultimately, fade away. Thus, the flickering flame of the Yahrzeit candle helps to remind us of the departed soul of our loved one and the precious fragility of our life and the lives of our loved ones. Lives that must be embraced and cherished at all times.

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