It is a mitzvah to observe yahrzeit, the anniversary of the day of death of a close relative by reciting kaddish and attending synagogue services. A Yahrzeit is the annual anniversary of the passing of a relative, primarily a parent. Yahrzeit is commemorated when the person who has passed is a parent, spouse, child or sibling. If you are a member, the Shul will send you a few weeks beforehand an email or letter reminding you of the Hebrew and English date of your Yahrzeit for these close relatives.
It is customary to light a memorial candle, which will burn for over 24 hours, at sunset on the previous evening. On a Friday this candle must be lit before the Shabbat candles; on a Saturday it is lit after Shabbat goes out.
A memorial prayer will be recited for that person in Shul on the Shabbat prior to the Yahrzeit, or, if it falls on a Shabbat, then on the actual date. It is traditional to attend shul on that Shabbat. If you are male, the Honorary Officers will arrange for you to be called up. If you are female, the Honorary Officers will do their best to call up a nominated male. There are opportunities to say kaddish for your loved one during the service. You will also find a “How to Video” in the Knowledge section of this website.
The shul does not generally have weekday Shacharit services but if you would like to attend Shacharit on the date of the Yahrzeit in order to say kaddish, that can be arranged by contacting Tony Orchudesch on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the synagogue office.
The occasion of a Yahrzeit is generally considered an appropriate time to make a small donation to the shul in memory of the person who has passed.
Click here to download the mourner’s kaddish in Hebrew, English and transliteration.
Sefer Hashiva Mourner’s Kaddish Translation