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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?

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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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Chabad.org Staff 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. Reply

Barbara Sylvain Maine 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? Reply

Rochel Chein for chabad.org March 23, 2014

Prayer 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. Reply

Anonymous March 21, 2014

Can you still say the prayer even though it was too late to light the candle? Reply

Anonymous December 27, 2013

Candlelighting I know you can light candles before the 18 minutes before sunset...my question is can a Woman light candles up to a few minutes before Sunset Reply

Anonymous Oslo February 26, 2011

Can I light another candle later by using the fire from the first candles or would that be considered a transgression? Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org 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). Reply

Anonymous Chicago 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? Reply

Chani Benjaminson, chabad.org 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. Reply

Rox Hazleton, PA 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? Reply

Chani Benjaminson, chabad.org October 24, 2008

lighting candles after sundown I realize that you'd like to have Shabbat candles in your home. However, once Shabbat has started, lighting a flame -- any flame -- is not permitted. Do you live with someone who can light the candles for you at home on time? Reply

Jerry NY., NY. October 21, 2008

lighting the candles Is it alright to light the sabbath candles from a flame that was already burning, another candle? I get home 2 or more hours after sundown and would like to light the sabbath candles. Reply