My mother passed away in September of 2015 and is interred in an above-ground vault. I know it is customary to mark a grave 1 year after the burial with an unveiling. However, I have read that waiting the year is done to allow the ground to settle before placing a headstone or marker so it doesn’t sink. Since she is not in the ground, is it still appropriate to wait 1 year or can it be marked sooner?



  1. I assume that you meant write 2018 and not 2019.

    In all events, as you write there is such a custom to wait a year but there is no obligation to do so. Many times the unveiling is done on a date that is convenient for most of the family even though it is during the year and not at the end of the year.

    I have never heard that the reason to wait a year is to allow the ground to settle. According to Jewish tradition there are three times that are considered to be opportune for an unveiling: immediately after the Shiva, at the end of the first thirty days, and at the end of the year. The reasons for all of these dates are to do with the spiritual realms and the soul of the deceased and they have nothing to with the state of the earth around the burial place.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team