Last night, I was pulled in off the street to help an unfamiliar shul make a minyan for Mincha/Ma'ariv. The rabbi greeted me, and when he learned I do not speak Hebrew, he gave me a very nice blessing about my future with Hashem. Then he said, "We're going to light the candles. Please, …" and he ushered me toward a table covered with candlesticks. Then he went to start davening, and I was left to figure out what to do.
I'm a Conservative Jew, though I feel pretty comfortable in an Orthodox environment, however this was probably only my second or third time davening with a mostly Hasidic minyan. I have never heard of lighting candles on a weekday night when there is no holiday, and I didn't know whether to say a bracha, and if so, which one. I just lit the candles without a bracha, and then we went on to daven. Does anyone know more about this practice?