IIn our tradition, a grave should be marked as soon as possible. Sagel Bloomfield Funeral Care can provide a temporary grave marker while the monument is being manufactured. We will send the family a letter after the Sheloshim period, approximately 30 days after the funeral. This letter is for you to start thinking about the monument. Please know, the process for a proper design and manufacture of a monument could take up to 10 months depending on a variety of factors.
Our process usually starts with a conversation about the engraving, the text and images that will be a part of the monument. The initial conversation can begin here in the office at the time of funeral arrangement but can easily be done at any time after.
From there, our conversations continue about the design via phone calls, emails, and mail with the family until we reach final approval.
“And Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrat, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob erected a tombstone on Rachel’s grave” (Genesis 35:19-20). Erecting a monument actually is a very ancient tradition. Whether the stone is placed directly over the grave, as a footstone, or as a headstone, the monument serves three purposes:
1. To mark the place of burial, so that priests (Kohanim) may avoid defilement from the dead – a ritual impurity that the Bible prohibits. For this purpose alone, a simple marker would be sufficient.
2. To designate the grave properly, so that friends and relatives may visit it.
3. To serve as a symbol of honor to the deceased buried beneath it.
The cost of the monument usually depends on the type of monument. The size, the shape, and the lettering of the monument should be determined by the family and the type of monument generally used in the cemetery where the deceased is buried. Regardless of the cemetery, there are many options.
It is popularly assumed that the monument must be erected approximately twelve months after death. In reality, very few scholars hold this view, and it is not required to follow their recommendation. There is every reason, based on major commentaries, numerous rabbinic sources, and long tradition, to arrange for the tombstone to be erected as soon as possible, but there is no problem if the monument is erected after 12 months.
The service of unveiling or commemoration is a formal dedication of the monument. It is customary to hold the unveiling as soon as the monument is installed at the cemetery.
The unveiling ceremony is the formal removal of a veil, cloth, or handkerchief draped over the stone. It symbolizes the completion of the tombstone. The unveiling may be performed during the service by anyone the family designates.
Sagel Bloomfield Funeral Care can assist family members to select appropriate readings for an unveiling service.
For more information, visit www.sbmonuments.com
Contact Larry Shor at 301-217-1400 for further information or email at email@example.com