The Jewish religion grants those who have lost a dear one to remember them on the yearly anniversary of their passing. A candle is traditionally lit to mark the Hebrew date from sunset to sunset – the Halachik day. For a comprehensive guide and calculation please consult your local Orthodox Rabbi.
Cemetery Yahrzeit Observances
An annual visit to the grave at someone’s annual Yahrzeit is an old traditional custom. At the graveside one usually recites selected Psalms, and then the Malei Rachamim prayer in Hebrew or English. It is more beneficial to recite the prayer oneself rather than hiring a proxy on one’s behalf. It is also extremely good to study Mishnah at the graveside on the day, if possible. The Hebrew or English text may be used.
Judaism approaches the visitations of graves as something solemn and important at appropriate times during the year. There is certainly a distancing of excessive visiting, and therefore we find that there is a touching custom of visiting the grave of a loved one in the month of Elul, (the one preceding Rosh Hashanah,) in anticipation of the New Year.