How to Perform a Memorial Candle Lighting Ceremony

Assorted books on wooden table.jpg

Memorial candle lighting ceremonies have become a popular way to remember the deceased, while helping surviving friends and family grieve. Not only are these ceremonies held during wakes, dedication ceremonies and memorials, but during weddings as well. It is fairly easy to hold a memorial candle lighting ceremony, and the best thing is there is no right or wrong way to go about it—you can personalize the ceremony as much as you'd like.

1 Choose a scented

Choose a scented or unscented pillar candle to be lit during the ceremony. You can choose any scent you like, but comforting scents such as lavender are popular for memorial candle lighting ceremonies. You do not have to get a colored candle; there are scented candles available that have no color.

2 Buy one or more tapered candles

Buy one or more tapered candles to be used for lighting the memorial candle. Taper candles are typically white and unscented, but you can get colored or scented ones to match the memorial candle, if you wish.

3 Choose a poem

Choose a poem, passage or quote to be read while the candle burns. Alternatively, surviving loved ones can be designated to say a few words about the deceased.

4 Designate a spot at the ceremony venue

Designate a spot at the ceremony venue to place the memorial candle. This should be in a central place, where all attendees can easily view the candle. You can decorate the area with flowers or photos of the deceased if you prefer.

5 Light the tapered candles

Light the tapered candles, and have two loved ones who were close to the deceased use the lit tapered candles to light the memorial candle. If the memorial candle lighting is to be held during a wedding ceremony, the bride and groom can light the memorial candle.

6 Read your chosen poem

Read your chosen poem, passage or quote, or have someone share their memories of the deceased while the candle burns.

7 Take a few moments

Take a few moments to have everyone at the ceremony watch the candle burn and remember the deceased in silence. If you prefer, a prayer can be said prior to this.

8 Let the candle

Let the candle burn during the duration of the ceremony, and blow it out once everyone has left the event venue.

Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.