The unveiling is a beautiful graveside ceremony marking the setting of a loved one’s headstone. By gathering to remember the passing of a loved one after the burial, the ritual serves as an important part of the mourning and healing process. The unveiling of the monument can take place anytime from the end of Shloshim (the 30 days after the funeral) to the first Yahrzeit (anniversary date).

The ceremony is brief and usually informal; selected Psalms might be read, a few words of eulogy, inspiration or memorial can be shared. Finally, the headstone is unveiled and the Kaddish and El Malei Rachamim are recited.

In biblical times, graves were sometimes marked by a pile of stones. Today the scholars suggest that the custom of leaving a pebble on the monument serves as a visible sign that members of the family came to visit and remember. At the unveiling, those present can mark the occasion by placing a small stone on the new memorial.

The content above is courtesy of Mt. Sinai Cemetery.

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