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If I came home late and it is after sunset, should I light the Shabbat candles then?

If I came home late and it is after sunset, should I light the Shabbat candles then?


No. One of the major mitzvot that characterize the Shabbat is the prohibition of all types of work. Lighting a fire is in this category and is strictly forbidden on Shabbat. Once the sun has set, Shabbat has begun and lighting a candle, rather than being an enhancement of the Shabbat, is a grave transgression.

There are some who have the custom of adding an extra Shabbat candle the following Shabbat and thereafter to make up for the shabbat for which candle lighting was missed.

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Discussion (12)
June 4, 2015
The candles are lit on Friday night, they do not need to burn for the entire Shabbat, they need only last until the Friday night meal (preferably). After Shabbat ends, we light a different candle to say the blessing on a flame that is said during the Havdalah ceremony. Staff
June 3, 2015
Candle lighting
What happens when the candles burn out on Shabbat? Isn't a candle extinguished at the end of Shabbat? Where does that candle come from?
Barbara Sylvain
March 23, 2014
The blessing over the candles is only recited when lighting the Shabbat candles before sunset. After this time, the other Shabbat prayers can be recited. See here and here for some of them.
Rochel Chein for
March 21, 2014
Can you still say the prayer even though it was too late to light the candle?
December 27, 2013
I know you can light candles before the 18 minutes before question is can a Woman light candles up to a few minutes before Sunset
February 26, 2011
Can I light another candle later by using the fire from the first candles or would that be considered a transgression?
May 24, 2010
Re: Saying prayer without lighting?
Although the blessing is directly related to lighting the candles and may not be recited if the candles aren't being lit, you can still take the time to recite Kiddush in honor of Shabbat (see our Kiddush Mitzvah Minute).
Eliezer Zalmanov for
May 14, 2010
Saying prayer without lighting?
If you come home too late to light the candles, can you just say the prayer over unlit candles?
August 21, 2009
Lighting early
Absolutely! The Shabbat candles may not be lit AFTER the 18 minutes cut-off, but they may be lit before, specifically up to an hour and a quarter Halachic hours before the official candle lighting time. To find the exact times please see our Halachic times calculator -- look for the 'plag hamincha' entry.
Chani Benjaminson,
August 21, 2009
candle time
If you don't make the precise 18 minute mark, can you still light before sunset? Or MUST it be 18 minutes or nothing at all?
Hazleton, PA
Welcome to our candle-lighting section, where you will find the details and practicalities of lighting Shabbat candles, along with the meaning, spirituality and power of doing so . . .
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