On the first night of Hanukkah only two candles are placed in the Chanukkia. One candle represents the first night and is placed in the far right candle holder. The other is the “Shamash” or “attendant”. This is the candle used to light all the other candles. It is placed in the candle holder which is higher than the others.
Each night a candle is added to the Chanukkia. They must be added in a specific way. The new candle is placed just to the left of the last. Therefore as you fill the Chanukkia the candles are placed from right to left, just like Hebrew writing.
When you light the candles the Shamash is lit first, then the nightly candles are lit from left to right. The candle that represents that night is the first lit of the nightly candles, then the others in backwards order until you reach the one that represents the first night.
The order of the service is as follows:
Place the candles in the Chanukkia.
Remove the Shamash and light it.
Recite the Blessings of Hanukkah:
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha'olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
Blessed are You, O Lord Our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.
2nd Blessing: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha'olam, she’asah nisim l’avoteinu, b’yamim haheim bazman hazeh.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who made miracles for our forefathers in those days at this time.
Light the nightly candles.
Sing Hanukkah songs and bask in the beauty of the light representing God’s miracles.