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How to Observe the Yizkor Service

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Yizkor is recited four times a year as part of the memorial service. It is recited after reading the Torah on Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, on the last day of Passover, and on the second day of Shavuot. Some synagogues say Yizkor for those who died during the holocaust before the private Yizkor prayers.

  • Light a Yartzeit candle in the afternoon before the holiday to remember the deceased. The candle should burn for 24 hours.
  • Attend the Yizkor service in the morning. The family of the deceased and those who sat shiva must remain in the synagogue. Non-mourners will be asked to leave midway through the service.
  • The Yizkor service is composed of the following prayers: Yizkor (prayer asking God to remember the soul of the deceased), El Male Rahamim (memorial prayer asking God to give eternal rest to the departed) which is recited by a cantor, and Av HaRahamim (recited as memorial for Jewish martyrs).
  • Some congregations recite the Mourner’s Kaddish during the Yizkor service.
  • Give Tzedakah in your loved one’s memory.

AllJewishLinks.com recommends Mourner’s KaddishBands which were created to help with the passing of a family member, friend, or loved one, consistent with the recital of the Mourner’s Kaddish.

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