Funerals, Shiva, and Unveiling The loss of a family member is one of the most traumatic experiences to befall a person during the course of his or her lifetime. Judaism contains a wide range of laws, observances, customs, ceremonies and traditions relating to death and mourning. Traditionally, when a loved one passes away there are a few family and community ritual events that take place. First is the funeral. This may take place in the funeral chapel of the family's choosing. Many families decide to forgo the funeral chapel service and have a simple graveside burial ceremony. When the burial service is completed the first stage of mourning is over. Once the family returns home from the cemetery, they immediately begin the formal seven-day mourning period known as Shiva; the first three days are considered the most important. The formal mourning period lasts one year. Once the one year mark has passed, an Unveiling ceremony may take place. The Unveiling is the dedication of the tombstone and plaque at the cemetery. At this ceremony a cloth that is draped over the grave marker is removed, thus unveiling the monument to family and friends for the first time. Following the unveiling, various prayers and blessings are recited. I am trained in officiating funerals, unveilings, and shiva services. For 15 years I have guided, counseled and consoled those in mourning. I am available to answer any questions that you may have.
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