Tracey in Ottawa for Hakamat Matzeiah

04/30/2023 9:00 am
05/03/2023 9:00 pm
Price: $0.00
Hakamat Matzeiah (raising the stone) for Sandra Thomas

In May 2022, my Aunt Sandra died after a long battle with COVID. We, her family, will travel to Ottawa to dedicate her headstone in advance of her first Yartzeit, the anniversary of her passing.

The Unveiling Ceremony
The unveiling ceremony, called Hakamat Matzeiah (raising the stone), is usually a short ceremony. The stone is covered with a piece of cloth before guests arrive. The cloth is removed just before Kaddish is recited.

The ceremony itself generally includes a few English or Hebrew readings that can be drawn from traditional sources or from other appropriate sources that were meaningful to the person who died, including favourite poems or song lyrics. It includes the El Malei Rachamim and Kaddish .

Great and holy are the names of the One in this world created by divine love.

May that love transform our hearts in your lifetimes and in our days, in the lives of all who struggle, swiftly and soon. Let us love one another now.

May the blessings of that love flow forever into our world and worlds beyond.

And that divine love,
that sacred energy,
may we shape it
and bring it to life
so it may be truly seen
and given its time
and be seen as beautiful
and uplifting
and joyful, through our own being.

Beyond all prayers, and blessings, and healings and consolations that we can give, is the One from which we come. May we remember.

May a blanket of peace fall upon us from the heavens to comfort us and all who are struggling.

May the One who unites heaven and earth, bring compassion to us, to all who are struggling and to all sentient beings.


The ceremony should also include an opportunity for those present to share memories or reflections should they wish—it can have an informal tone but should be sufficiently solemn and respectful for the occasion. The ceremony typically lasts no longer than ten to fifteen minutes.

Leading an unveiling ceremony is a tremendous gift to those present, and when done with thoughtfulness and sensitivity can help bring closure to the year of mourning that Judaism describes following the death of a loved one.

Following the ceremony, people often place pebbles on the monument, as a reminder of maintaining early markers, which were literally piles of stone.

After the unveiling, families sometimes invite participants to their home or to a restaurant to spend additional time together. Also, it is appropriate, following an unveiling, to give tzedakah (charitable donations) in honour of the person who died to a cause or institution that was important to him or her.

To learn more about the unveiling ceremony, you can view the video “Jewish Mourning Rituals: An Overview”

06/01/2023 - 3:00pm