The tradition of lighting a flame for a departed loved one reaches back thousands of years into human history. Ancient Phoenicia, Asia, and Greece all have archaeological remains showing they used memorial candles and lamps to commemorate their dead.
Memorial candle use began to make its way into early religion via the Jewish yahrzeit candle. “Yahrzeit” means, literally, anniversary, and has been used for millennia by mourners either in their own home or at the deceased’s graveside. It burns for 24 hours straight on the anniversary of the loved one’s death, or for a week straight during mourning, or “shiva.”
Graveside Candle and Memorial Candle Use Today
Over time, the use of memorial candles has widened to not only include honoring the dead who we want to still hold with love in our hearts, but also to symbolize the beauty of the coming resurrection. Paschal candles are often lit during funerals to remind grieving families that Christ has ultimately conquered death. Through His work we can look forward to seeing our loved one again.
Unfortunately for the simple beauty of what our hearts want to cling to when faced with death, there are a growing number of cemeteries that do not permit graveside candle usage any longer. One cemetery explains on their website:
“Believe it or not, we have had to put out fires, re-sod grass, and resurface headstones because of candles. Lighting a candle in memory of your loved one is a beautiful practice, but can be a dangerous practice outdoors in the cemetery.”
Typically, the option is to either use battery operated memorial candles or light candles at a nearby mausoleum instead. But since live flame candles require monitoring, even some mausoleums don’t allow them anymore.
Flameless Memorial Candles
Fortunately, LED memorial candles are a lovely alternative that not only provide the beauty and ritual we crave, but provide safety and reliability as well. A person can light an electric graveside candle, anchor the candle to the gravesite per cemetery rules, and know that it will burn steadily for up to five weeks (800 hours) on one set of batteries, in any weather.
For extra protection, people can purchase a separate dust cover for their flameless graveside candle, or, buy an LED graveside candle package that has an anchor and dust cover included. This ensures their battery operated graveside candle will work for many years to come.
Mausoleum or Home Use
Even in a mausoleum or home setting, you want your memorial candle to be as safe and reliable as possible. Whether you’re setting up a 24-hour, a one-week, or a one-year vigil, a flameless memorial candle will burn steadily, providing nonstop light in memory of your loved one.
Why should the weather or the season dictate when you can light a memorial or graveside candle? Electric memorial candles provide security, reliability, safety, and beauty, all in a fully warrantied product. Hold the darkness at bay and keep the faith alive next to the grave of a loved one with a candle that will burn nonstop through all conditions, just like your love and memories.