How to Arrange a Jewish Memorial Service

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At St. Charles Monuments we pride ourselves on working closely with you every step of the way, helping you through all aspects of Jewish memorial decision making and the creation of custom headstones on Long Island. From design to cemetery regulations, installation, unveiling, cleaning and repairs—we’re there for you. There is so much to take care of when a loved one passes away, including the memorial service. It can be overwhelming emotionally and you may not know where to start. Below we have detailed the basic outline to follow when arranging a Jewish memorial service for your loved one to help and support you through this process.
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What Should You Do First When Planning A Jewish Memorial Service?

The first thing you should do is contact a rabbi to help with the memorial arrangements. Within the Jewish community burials take place as soon as possible in order to properly honor the deceased. The rabbi with help you process the loss of your loved one, as well as help with ritualistic matters, such as: cleansing and preparing the body.

After contacting a rabbi, you should speak with your loved ones to decide who will sit with the body of the deceased until the memorial service, as tradition dictates.


Things to Consider During the Service

Depending upon what form of Judaism your family practices, you should be aware of the proper custom for the bereaved to tear their clothing as a symbol of this loss, usually done at the beginning of the memorial service.

You may also wish to speak with your loved ones regarding who would like to give the eulogy for the deceased. It is important to keep in mind the emphasis in the Jewish community of piety and not to boast about the deceased. You should only express actual virtues and qualities without presenting the memory of them inaccurately.

During the service there will be a few readings done. Jewish services customarily begin with a reading of Psalm 23 and then other Psalms that are chosen to specifically reflect and pay tribute to the deceased. Other common readings include the “Kel Maleh Rachamim” prayer.

At the close of the ceremony the visitors who’ve come to pay their respects should be encouraged to follow the body to the cemetery and the veiled cemetery monument. Although in some families people prefer to keep the cemetery burial closed to only immediate family and the synagogue ceremony open to family and friends, it is actually considered a great respect to the deceased when many people follow the body to see it buried in the cemetery.


We at St. Charles Monuments are here to help make this time in your life a little easier by providing excellent service and quality memorials. Contact us by calling (631) 694-0943 or visiting us at 1280 N. Wellwood Avenue in West Babylon, NY. For more information regarding Jewish mourning customs, such as, Placing a Stone on a Loved One’s Grave, The Unveiling Ceremony, or understanding the Stages of Mourning and more, check out our monuments and memorials blog.

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 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ