The unveiling ceremony gathers us together at the gravesite to recall what is immortal and lasting in this life. We can talk about our loved one with a different spirit than the painful words of eulogy. We may talk of what we miss most in our loved one’s life. We may celebrate what was triumphant and unique in this life. We may laugh at their humor, feel the warmth of their love, bring close their wisdom, recall the moments we most cherish, and cry at the loss.
~ Rabbi Edward Feinstein
Senior Rabbi, Valley Beth Shalom
Because there are no formal religious requirements for an unveiling service,
we encourage you to incorporate prayers and readings which provide consolation and comfort to you and your family.
To be read by the leader of the service.
We join as family and friends at the final resting place of our dear relative and friend, __________ (insert name of the deceased).
Though time has passed since (he/she) was taken from our midst, we still remember the important role that
(he/she) played in our lives. In gratitude for the many blessings that (his/her) life brought and recognizing that (his/her) memory and spirit still resonate within us, we
dedicate this tablet marking (his/her) eternal resting place.
One or two Psalms should be read in Hebrew and/or English. These may be read by several individuals present and it is helpful to designate the reader in advance.
The following selections, included in our "Prayers and Readings for the Unveiling Ceremony" booklet are are often read:
The Mourner's Kaddish
El Malei Rachamim
We Remember Them
Reminiscences and memories of the departed may be shared. (It is suggested that specific individuals be designated in advance so that they come with prepared remarks.)
In recognition of all that __________ (insert name of the deceased) meant to us when (he/she) was alive, and the
precious memories that we treasure, we dedicate this tablet to (his/her) memory as a symbol of our love and respect.
The tablet is uncovered and the leader should read the inscription aloud.
All attendees should now recite the Kaddish and the El Malei Rachamim together.
The Mourner’s Kaddish / Hebrew
The Mourner’s Kaddish Hebrew Transliteration
EL MALEI RACHAMIM / HEBREW
Recommended Psalms are included below.
PSALM 23 HEBREW
PSALM 23 / THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
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 hast anointed 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 1 HEBREW
PSALM 1 ENGLISH
Happy is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stood in the way of sinners, Nor sat in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
And in His law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water,
That bringeth forth its fruit in its season,
And whose leaf doth not wither;
And in whatsoever he doeth he shall prosper.
Not so the wicked;
But they are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD regardeth the way of the righteous;
But the way of the wicked shall perish.
PSALM 121 HEBREW
PSALM 121 ENGLISH
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.