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Topic: Candle, Yahrzeit

Kim Hornbeck from Belpre, Ohio wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

This is the first time I'm lighting a yahrtzeit (anniversary of passing) candle for my late father, and I don't know what prayer to say. Thank you for your help.

Dear Kim Hornbeck,

There is no specific prayer to recite on lighting the yahrzeit candle. I think that it is fitting to stop for a few moments to remember the deceased and to spend some time in introspection. The yahrzeit candle is lit at sundown on the eve of the anniversary of the passing and the candle should remain alight for twenty-four hours. It is a beautiful custom to light a candle on the yahrzeit, as the flame of a candle is compared to a soul. Just as a flame is never still, so too does the soul continuously strive to "reach up" to G-d.

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