Yizkor ("remembrance") prayers are recited by those who have lost either one or both of their parents. In the Yizkor prayers God is asked to remember and grant repose to the souls of the departed. The Yizkor service takes place in synagogue four times a year on Yom Kippur, the last day of Sukkot, the last day of Passover and the last day of Shavuot. The Yizkor prayers include an obligation to make a charitable donation in memory of the deceased. It is customary to kindle a twenty-four hour candle on the evening preceding Yizkor. Although saying Yizkor with a minyan is preferable, it is also acceptable to recite the prayer privately, at home.
May God remember the soul of my beloved ____________________who has passed to his/her eternal rest. I pledge charity in his/her name and pray that his/her soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah and all the righteous men and women in heaven. Amen.
Our God and God of our fathers, may the memory of those who we lovingly remember as we say Yiskor this day, influence our lives for good and direct our thoughts away from the vain and fleeting and toward that which is eternal. Teach us to emulate the virtues of our dear ones so that we too may be inspired to devote ourselves to the Torah, to Israel and to Thee, the source of all our aspirations. Thus shall the historic chain of Judaism remain unbroken, our departed mothers and fathers and all our loved ones be united with us. They live in us, in our hopes, and shall their influence continue in our children. In Thee, O Lord, they and we are one.
Teach us to live wisely and unselfishly in truth and understanding, in love and peace, so that those who come after us may likewise remember us for good, as we this day affectionately remember those who were unto us a blessing. Amen.
Yiskor is said in Synagogues on these Dates