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Signifance of Candle Lighting After A Death

Ive heard many people light a candle(even burning it in the windows for a few days)after someone dies.

What is the significance for you or your beliefs(if any)?? And if you do it for a certain amount of days...why?


Asked by LadyLotus3 at 9:45 AM on Aug. 26, 2012 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (8)
  • Spiritually speaking, a candle is the only light which is visible to a spirit being. Witches light candles to facilitate the crossing-over of the spirit to it's new world. There is a ceremony which goes with the lighting of the candle and, as it burns, we remember pleasent things about our departed loved one. It assures them that it is okay to cross over. That we will love and remember them.

    Answer by witchqueen at 1:17 PM on Aug. 26, 2012

  • We Jews light a candle for a dead loved one in their "yartzeit" (anniversary of their death) and on Yom Kippur, in addition of the 7 days of shiva, the intense mourning period following the burial. Usually it's only lit for those loved ones one would say Kaddish for and is an "official" mourner: parents, siblings, spouse, sons and daughters. It's a candle that lights for 26 hours.
    This tradition comes from Proverbs 20:27 "The soul of man is the candle of G-d"


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 10:49 AM on Aug. 26, 2012

  • As a Catholic lighting candles for someone is part of our tradition. It's a way of extending ones prayers and is linked to when candles were used during vigils.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 12:01 PM on Aug. 26, 2012

  • Here is one explanation: 

    The soul, or neshamah, of the departed derives joy from the kindling of lights. This enjoyment brings theneshamah to a state of spiritual expansion. Theneshamah itself is a portion of light drawn from the light of the intellect (sechel). In Proverbs, King Solomon refers to this when he writes, "Man's soul is G-d's candle."


    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 10:22 AM on Aug. 26, 2012

  • great question & great answers! i learned something new today!

    Answer by okmanders at 9:45 PM on Aug. 26, 2012

  • What Sharon said.

    Answer by robinkane at 12:24 PM on Aug. 26, 2012

  • Shannon and SpiritedWitch pretty much answered the Jewish perspective on this one. I don't think I can add anything here.

    Answer by collectivecow at 6:34 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • Thank you all for the awesome answers.

    Id never thought of lighting a candle before and leaving it in the window when one passes so when I came across someone mentioning got me curious about similar customs.

    Definately something I think Ill be doing when my DH passes.

    Thank you again, everyone.

    Comment by LadyLotus3 (original poster) at 8:43 AM on Aug. 28, 2012