PRAYERS SAID AT THE GRAVE
Lord, who shall sojourn in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Thy holy mountain? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart; That hath no slander upon his tongue, nor doeth evil to his fellow nor taketh on a reproach against his neighbor . . . He that doeth these things shall never be moved. – Psalm 15 The memory of your life, dear father, rises before me this solemn moment as I stand before your grave and recall all the years of unselfish devotion, kindness, love and encouragement which you have shown me during your life. I recall all the sacrifices you made for my welfare, and the many comforts with which you provided me. You rejoiced in my achievements, you guided me in my perplexities, and strengthened me in my trials and disappointments. The passing of time will never diminish the blessed memories of your life. I can pay you the tribute which you so richly deserve, by cherishing the ideals and principles you have taught me, by continuing the noble work you have left unfinished, by loyally upholding the heritage of Israel which you have transmitted unto me, and by serving my people and all who need me. Though you are gone from my physical presence, the bond of love which unites us can never be severed. May God grant that my father’s memory ever inspire me, and may his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.
FOR A MOTHER
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in things too great, or in things too wonderful for me. Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, my soul is with me like a weaned child. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for ever. – Psalm 131 Though we are separated, dear mother, at this solemn moment when I stand before your grave, I call to mind the love and solicitude with which you tended and watched over my childhood, ever mindful of my welfare, and ever anxious for my happiness. I feel the closeness of your spirit, mother dear, and my heart is filled with tender emotion as I recollect the many sacrifices you made to ennoble my heart and instruct my mind. I am grateful for your every blessing, your kindly deeds, your understanding heart, your sacrificial devotion and your warm love so freely given. What I achieved is because of your influence, and what I am, I have become through you. Indeed, the wisdom that you imparted unto me shall ever remain with me. If at times, I have failed in showing you the love and appreciation which you so worthily deserved; if I have been thoughtless and ungrateful; I ask to be forgiven. In tribute to your beautiful memory, I implore your inspiration to noble and intelligent living as I cherish the recollections of your lifetime. I pray, O God, that the soul of my dear mother be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.
FOR A BROTHER OR SISTER
O merciful God, standing here at the grave of my dear brother (sister), I fondly recollect the happy years we spent together, sharing the love and traditions of our home and family. Alas! death claimed thee too soon, and removed thee too early from those who loved thee. Though Thou hast called him (her) back, O God, I shall always hold sacred memories of his (her) kindness and sincerity, love and devotion. O Lord, grant that the recollections of his (her) life provide an incentive to righteous living. I place my trust in Thee who are the source of all life and my strength in time of sorrow. Though a link has been severed from our family chain, help me, O God, to be more closely united with those dear ones who remain. May the soul of my beloved brother (sister) be bound up in the bond of eternal life together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.
FOR A CHILD
Almighty Father, as I stand at the grave of my beloved child, I tenderly recall the joys that he (she) gave me during his (her) lifetime. How I delighted in his (her) physical and mental growth. How I planned for his (her) future. Though few and brief were the years wherein I rejoiced with my beloved child, many indeed were the blessings he (she) brought into our home. The passage of years will never fill the void in my heart, nor can time soften the pain of bereavement. Though he (she) is no longer in our midst, his (her) memory shall forever be enshrined in my heart. O merciful God, Giver of life, Thou hast recalled what is Thine own, and hast taken him (her) into Thy loving care and keeping. Though my heart still grieves, may I, who have known the joys of parenthood, bring love and cheer into the lives of others. I pray that the soul of my dearly beloved child be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.
FOR A HUSBAND
O God, behold and see the sorrow of my heart. Widowed and bereft I mourn the loss of the dear companion of my heart. Thou sleep beneath this tomb, dear husband, and while thou cannot hear me, neither can thou see my tears. My existence is now a void, joy and happiness have fled with thee, and I must bear the burden of life alone, for thy hand can no longer protect me, nor my heart repose on thine. All is cold and sorrow, and I come to pour out my grief at thy grave.May God support me in this heavy trial, may He in mercy pardon the words of bitterness which have escaped from my widowed heart. O God, protect my bereaved children, deprived of their earthly father’s care. Heavenly Father, extend thy omnipotent protection, and inspire them with a love of duty and fidelity to our faith, and veneration for their father’s memory. I pray, O Lord, that the precious memories of our happy years together, may ever be an incentive to noble and sanctified living. May my endeavors to practice what is good atone for my errors, and be accepted in order to assume the salvation of my soul. Father of all, grant that the soul of my beloved husband be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.
FOR A WIFE
With a sorrowing heart, O beloved wife, I fondly recall your love and companionship, your tenderness and devotion and the many comforts and joys you brought into my life. As I stand now before your grave, my heart cries out for the gentle touch of your hand and your sweet compassion. Never will I forget the hardships and the pleasures, trials and triumphs, joys and sorrows, we shared together. You helped dispel my fear and in time of need encouraged me and stood by my side. I pray that our children may ever be inspired by your precious memory. May they always remember, and strive to imitate thy gentleness, piety and virtue. O God, grant unto her for whom I mourn, all the joys of eternity, grant that her soul may watch as a guardian angel over my bereaved children, remove every evil influence from them, and lead them in the way of righteousness, so that we may one day be all deemed worthy of being numbered among the blessed.O heavenly Father, grant that the soul of my beloved wife be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.
KADDISH – HEBREW
Yit-gadal v’yit-kadash sh’may raba b’alma dee-v’ra che-ru-tay, ve’yam-lich mal-chutay b’chai-yay-chon uv’yo-may-chon uv-cha-yay d’chol beit Yisrael, ba-agala u’vitze-man ka-riv, ve’imru amen. Y’hay sh’may raba me’varach le-alam uleh-almay alma-ya. Yit-barach v’yish-tabach, v’yit-pa-ar v’yit-romam v’yit-nasay, v’yit-hadar v’yit-aleh v’yit-halal sh’may d’koo-d’shah, b’rich hoo. layla (ool-ayla)* meen kol beer-chata v’she-rata, toosh-b’chata v’nay-ch’mata, da-a meran b’alma, ve’imru amen. Y’hay sh’lama raba meen sh’maya v’cha-yim aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, ve’imru amen. O’seh shalom beem-romav, hoo ya’ah-seh shalom aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, ve’imru amen. * Add on Shabbat
KADDISH – ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Magnified and sanctified be G-d’s great name in the world which He created according to His will. May he establish His kingdom during our lifetime and during the lifetime of Israel. Let us say, Amen. May G-d’s great name be blessed forever and ever. Blessed, glorified, honored and extolled, adored and acclaimed be the name of the Holy One, though G-d is beyond all praises and songs of adoration which can be uttered. Let us say, Amen. May there be peace and life for all of us and for all Israel. Let us say, Amen. Let He who makes peace in the heavens, grant peace to all of us and to all Israel. Let us say, Amen.
EL MOLEY RACHAMIM
El malay rachamim shochen bamiromim, Hamtzey menucha nechona tachas kanfey hashechina, B’ maalos kedoshim ut’ horim kezohar harakeea mazhirim es nishma (name). Male: Shehalach l’olamo Ba’voor shenadvoo tzedaka b’ad hazkaras nishmaso b’ gan eden t’ hay m’ noochaso lachen baal harachamim yastirayhoo b’seser kna fav l’olamim v’ytzror bitzror hachayim es nishmaso Adonoy hoo nachalaso, v’yanooach b’shalom al mishkavo, v’nomar ah’main. Female: Shehalacha l’olama Ba’voor shenadvoo tzedaka b’ad hazkaras nishmasa b’ gan eden t’ hay m’ noochasa lachen baal harachamim yastirah b’seser k’nofaf l’olamim v’ytzror bitzror hachayim es nishmasa Adonoy hoo nachalasa, v’sanuach b’shalom al mishkava, v’nornar ah’main.
EL MOLEH RACHAMIM
God, full of compassion, Thou who dwellest on high, grant perfect rest beneath the shelter of Thy divine presence among the holy and pure who shine as the brightness of the firmament to the soul of my beloved who has gone to his (her) eternal home. Mayest Thou, O God of Mercy, shelter him (her) forever under the wings of Thy presence, May his (her) soul be bound up in the bond of life eternal, and grant that the memories of my life inspire me always to noble and consecrated living. Amen.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains; From whence shall my help come? My help cometh from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel Doth neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper; The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall keep thee from all evil; He shall keep thy soul. The Lord shall guard thy going out and thy coming in, From this time forth and forever.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
PSALM 90(SELECTED VERSES)
Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. Thou turnest man to contrition; And sayest: `Return, ye children of men.’ For a thousand years in Thy sight Are but as yesterday when it is past, And as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as asleep; In the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; In the evening it is cut down, and withereth. We bring our years to an end as a tale that is told. The day of our years are the three-score years and ten, Or even by reason of strength four-score years; Yet is their pride but travail and vanity; For it is speedily gone, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days, That we may get us a heart of wisdom. Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants. And Thy glory upon their children. And let the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us; Establish Thou also upon us the work of our hands Yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.
Prayers on Visiting Graves
At the rising of the sun and at its going down We remember them. At the blowing of the wind and the chill of winter We remember them. At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring We remember them. At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer We remember them. At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn We remember them. At the beginning of the year and when it ends We remember them. As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as we remember them. When we are weary and in need of strength We remember them. When we are lost and sick at heart We remember them. When we have joy we crave to share We remember them. When we have decisions that are difficult to make We remember them. When we have achievements that are based on theirs. We remember them. As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
FOR OUR DEAR DEPARTED
Peace be to thy spirit dear one. Well do I know, that safely thou dwellest under the shadow of God. And yet, to think that thou no more art with me on earth, grieves the heart and saddens the thought. I have come to the place where the earthly part of thee has been laid to rest and at thy grave I pray unto Him, who has revealed Himself to us as a Father, that he grant me the strength and the will to emulate the good example set by thee, that I may practice the good thou hast taught, and lead a pure and virtuous life, so that, when my time shall come to enter eternity my soul may be found worthy of salvation. May thy love and faithfulness that guarded and guided me, be forever written upon my heart and set us as a memorial before my eyes, that I may ever find grace and favor in the eyes of God and man.â€¨â€¨ The glory of God be upon thee, and His peace surround thee.
Dedication and Unveiling Monuments
Compassionate God, eternal Spirit of the universe, grant perfect rest in your sheltering presence to (name) Who has entered eternity. God of mercy, let him/her find refuge in Your eternal presence, and let his/her soul be bound up in the bond of everlasting life. God is his/her inheritance. May he/she rest in peace, and let us say: Amen
THE TWENTY-THIRD PSALM
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters;He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil;my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. May the death of (name) Awaken us to this truth: That the bond of love we shared, will not be severed in sorrow. May he/she rest in peace, and let us say, Amen I lift up my eyes to the mountains: Where will I find my help? My help is the Eternal One, Maker of heaven and earth. God will keep your foot from slipping, Your Guardian does not slumber. Behold, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. The Eternal One is your shield, The Eternal One is your shade at your side. The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Eternal One is your shield against evil, the Guardian of your spirit. The Eternal One is your shield, when you come in and when you go out, Now and forever.[dedication continued]
(PSALM 121)(REMOVE THE COVERING FROM THE MONUMENT AND RECITE)
On behalf of our family, and in the presence of our relatives and friends, we consecrate this memorial to (name) as a sign of our undying love and respect.
Yizkor elohim nishmas avee mori (name) shehalach 1′ olamo, baavoor sheani noder tzedaka baado, bischar zeh, y’ hay nafsho tzerurah bitzrov hachayim im nishmos Avraham, Yitzchak, v’ Yaakov, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’ Leah, vim shear tzadikim v’tzid kaniyos she b’ gan eden, v’ nomar ah’ main. May God remember the soul of my respected father (name) who has passed to his eternal rest: I pledge charity in his behalf and pray that his soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.
IN MEMORY OF A MOTHER
Yizkor elohim nishmas eemee morasi (name) shehalacha 1′ olama, baavoor sheani noder tzedaka baada, bischar zeh, t’hay nafsha tzerurah bitzrov hachayim im nishmos Avraham, Yitzchak, v’ Yaakov, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’ Leah, Vim shear tzadikim v’tzid kaniyos she b’ gan eden, v’ nomar ah’ main. May God remember the soul of my respected mother (name) who has passed to her eternal rest. I pledge charity in her behalf and pray that her soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.
IN MEMORY OF A DAUGHTER
Yizkor elohim nishmas beetee hayekarah (name) shehalacha 1′ olama, baavoor sheani noder tzedaka baada, bischar zeh, t’ hay nafsha tzerurah bitzrov hachayim im nishmos Avraham, Yitzchak, v’ Yaakov Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’ Leah, Vim shear tzadikim v’tzid kaniyos she b’ gan eden, v’ nomar ah’ main. May God remember the soul of my beloved daughter (name) who has passed to her eternal rest. I pledge charity in her behalf and pray that her soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.
IN MEMORY OF THE DEAR DEPARTED ONES
May God remember the soul of my beloved (grandfather) (grandmother) (uncle) (aunt) (brother) (sister) (Name) who has passed to his (her) eternal rest. I pledge charity in his (her) behalf and pray that his (her) soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.
Our God and God of our fathers, may the memories of those whom we lovingly recall as we say Yizkor this day influence our lives for good and direct our thoughts away from the vain and fleeting toward that which is eternal. Teach us to emulate the virtues of our dear ones so that we too may be inspired to devote ourselves to the Torah, to Israel and to Thee, the source of all our aspirations. Thus shall the historic chain of Judaism remain unbroken, our departed mothers and fathers and all our loved ones be united with us. They live in us, in our hopes, and shall their influence continue in our children. In Thee, O Lord, they and we are one. When I stray far from Thee, O God, my life is as death; but when I cleave unto Thee, even in death I have life.’ With Thee are the souls of the living and the dead. Teach us to live wisely and unselfishly in truth and understanding, in love and peace, so that those who come after us may likewise remember us for good, as we this day affectionately remember them who were unto us a blessing. â€¨Amen.