Life Cycle Events


Judaism has always recognized important moments in people’s lives. At Main Line Reform Temple, we help to create these significant moments and infuse them with personal meaning. Whether breaking a glass under the wedding chupah (canopy), passing on a cherished Hebrew family name to a newborn, or being called to the Torah to read the blessing of our ancestors, our Clergy add a personal touch to these experiences.

At Main Line Reform Temple, we are an inclusive congregation and welcome the participation of our non-Jewish family members in life cycle events. For more information, please contact Cynthia Marshall or Beth Lloyd to make an appointment with one of our Clergy.

Planning a wedding or other special simcha (celebration)? The warmth of our Clergy and synagogue staff and the inviting nature of our sanctuary will help make your celebration a unique and meaningful experience. For additional information and availability, please contact our Executive Director, Melissa Johnson.


The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their new lives. This ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Our clergy can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser), help the parents to understand the ceremony, and

We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name.  Our clergy can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue. Please let us know as your family grows so that we may extend a warm and personal welcome to your newborn.


Our clergy can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching bride and groom the meaning of the ceremony, from Ketubah (marriage document), to Kiddushin (Engagement) to Chuppah (Marriage Canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass.  We also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship.  We also work with you in designing the ceremony, providing our knowledge and experience. Our clergy celebrate with two adults beginning their lives together and, in accordance with policy suggested by the Union for Reform Judaism, welcomes LGBT couples and interfaith couples to the chuppah.


Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals – from kriah (tearing of a garment), to shiva (mourning). Our clergy will instruct you on these and other rituals.  We can also perform the funeral ceremony for our congregants and their close family members, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices.


The unveiling of a traditional headstone or ground plaque may take place after the first month following the burial but traditionally happens after eleven months. The presence of clergy is not required and user friendly hard copies of the liturgy can be made available from the MLRT office.
Please contact Cynthia Marshall for more information.


Kindling the Yahrzeit Candle

At this moment, I pause for thought in memory of my beloved………………………I give thanks for the blessing of life, of companionship and of memory.  I am grateful for the strength and faith that sustained me in the hour of my bereavement.  Though sorrow lingers, I have learned that love is stronger than death.  Though my loved one is beyond my sight, I do not despair for I sense my beloved in my heart as a living presence.

Sustained by words of faith, comforted by precious memories, I kindle the Yahrzeit light in remembrance.  As this light burns purely and clearly, so may the blessed memory of the goodness of my dear………………….. illumine my soul.

I now remember dear…………………..who has gone to his/her eternal resting place.  May his/her soul be given life everlasting, and may his/her memory be a source of blessing to those who knew and loved him/her.  Amen.

O God, I remember tonight the life of my dear………………..  As I light this candle to his/her memory, I put my trust in You and pray that his/her memory will serve as a blessing and source of inspiration to all people who knew and loved him/her.

May God remember the soul of my dear …………… who has passed to eternal rest.  I pledge charity and deeds of lovingkindness on his/her behalf and pray that his/her soul will be kept among the immortal souls of our righteous ancestors.
O God, I pray that you will keep the soul of my dear…………… united with us in the bond of life.  In his/her memory, guide me so that I will live righteously, fulfilling Your will and serving our people.  May his/her soul rest in peace and be remembered as a blessing.

O God, as I remember …………………, I pray that I may emulate all that was good and righteous in his/her life.  May his/her soul be given eternal life and his/her memory always remain a comfort and source of inspiration.

At  this moment, which bears the memory of our beloved…………………., let us join hands in love and remembrance.  A link has been broken in the chain that has bound us together, yet strong bonds of home and love hold us each to the other.

We give thanks for the blessing of life, of companionship, and of memory.  We are grateful for the strength and faith that sustained us in the hour of our bereavement.  Though sorrow lingers, we have learned that love is stronger than death.  Though our loved one is beyond our sight, we do not despair for we sense our beloved in our hearts as a living presence.

Sustained by words of faith, comforted by precious memories, we kindle the light in remembrance.  “The human spirit is the light of Adonai” (Proverbs 20:27).  As this light is pure and clear, so may the blessed memory of the goodness and nobility of character of our dear………..illumine our souls.

The light is kindled.

Zich-ro-no (Zich-ro-na) li-ve-ra-cha.
His (her) memory is a blessing.


Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba b’alma divra chir’utei, v’yamlich malchutei b’chayeichon uvyomeichon uvchayei dchol beit Yisrael, ba’agala uvizman kariv, v’imru: Amen.

Y’hei shmei raba m’varach l’alam ul’almei almaya

Yitbarach v’yishtabach, v’yitpa’ar v’yitromam v’yitnasei, v’yithadar v’yit’aleh v’yithalal shmei d’kudsha, b’rich hu,

l’eila min kol birchata v’shirata, tushb’chata v’nechemata da’amiran b’alma, v’imru: Amen.

Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya v’chayim, aleinu v’al kol Yisrael, v’imru: Amen.

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael, v’imru: Amen.

May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn and comfort to all who are bereaved.  Amen.

Click to the left to download the Mourner’s Kaddish prayer.


There are many reasons a person might consider conversion to Judaism. Individuals who are seeking sacred meaning in their lives may find that Judaism speaks to their need for spiritual connection and community.  Often, interreligious marriages spark curiosity and a desire in the non-Jewish partners to share the religion of their spouse. Similarly, when an interfaith couple decides to raise children, the non-Jew may initially decide to explore Judaism in order to seek a common religious grounding for the family. Each of these reasons is a valid beginning to a Jewish journey.