Buddhism is one of the religions with a significant number of followers in various countries. It is one of the most ancient world religions. Buddhism along with Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam is one of the four leading denominations in terms of the number of confessions. The urbanization of the population led to the spread of Buddhism in large metropolitan areas, including Singapore, Japan, and other countries. For example, if you live in Singapore and need Buddhist funeral service, then you can hire Casket Services in Singapore.
The people of Buddhism have different beliefs about the end of life. The death of the loved ones is still an interesting subject according to the Buddhist funeral rites. Funerals in many Buddhist countries are a simple, calm and humble ceremony. Unfortunately, some people include unnecessary, extraneous, and prejudiced elements. External elements and ceremonies vary according to the traditions and customs of the people.
Buddhists regard death as another rebirth, a transition to a new life cycle. Therefore, relatives are not recommended to express grief over the death of loved ones. Buddhism generally does not approve of a person’s excessive attachments to something or someone. Therefore, grief in connection with any loss is advised to suppress and overcome. The one who passes away from life should part with his body as consciously and prepared as possible.
For this, there are special spiritual practices, the development of which priests advise to engage in throughout their earthly existence. Gautama Buddha went into reincarnation meditating. By repeating his path, Buddhist masters also strive to die in consciousness purified by meditation.
Well, this guide will let you know more about Buddhist funerals. So, let’s have a look at the following.
Table of Content
- What You Need to Know About Funeral In Buddhism
- Burial Date
- Who Can Have Buddhist Funeral?
- Preparation Buddhist Funeral
- Etiquettes and Dress-Code of Buddhist Funeral
What You Need to Know About Funeral In Buddhism
Buddhist creed does not encourage excessive attachment to the material world and does not require crowded funeral ceremonies and special decoration of graves. It is not customary to sob or express emotions violently. Restrained behavior is appreciated.
In general, the following features are characteristic of burial in Buddhism:
- Burial is scheduled for the third day after death;
- On the eve, there is an all-night vigil;
- A Buddhist priest is invited to perform the prescribed rituals;
- Adult men go to the cemetery, sometimes also elderly women.
The Onset of Death
When death approaches, the person experiences fear. At this time, a Buddhist priest is invited, who gives special instructions on how to recognize the onset of death and make the transition to the afterlife, while remaining conscious. There is no confession in Buddhism. The lama comes to help cope with fear and accept the inevitable with dignity.
The Buddhist tradition follows the rule of burial on the third day after death. On the eve of the burial, the ritual of the funeral service and all-night vigil at the tomb is performed. Departure from the traditional term is allowed only if the burial is to take place on holidays or on days that are marked as unfavorable. Whether it is possible to bury on a certain day, they find out from the priest of the nearest Buddhist temple.
Who Can Have Buddhist Funeral?
The majority of people take part in funerals who are actively involved in a community during their life. Members of these communities follow the most appropriate Buddist funeral rites, which is necessary according to the traditions. Some hospitals and hospices are connected with the Buddhist chaplains who provide the advice on Theravada, Tibetan and Zen Buddhist funerals.
Preparation Buddhist Funeral
As mentioned above, there are different types of Buddhism in the world. But, yes there is no designated method for funerals because the services of Buddhism funerals are simple. The occasions of the funeral can be at a monastery or a family home. The number of mourners frequently rely on the size of the venue for the funeral. The service may occur before or after cremation or burial. There may be an open coffin at the funeral service.
During an occasion, the venue combines an altar decorated with an image of the person who has died. In addition, flowers, incense, an image of Buddha, candles and fruits are also there. All the members of the community place their flowers alongside the decorated altar. Once all show their respect, monks and other members of the Buddhist community will read sermons and deliver eulogies. Chanting by monks and Buddhist funeral prayers is also attached in the Buddhist funeral services. Sometimes, recording chants are also played during prayer. There are various professionals available in Singapore for organizing a service following the beliefs of someone who desires a Buddhist funeral.
Etiquettes and Dress-Code of Buddhist Funeral
When accessing the venue, the attendees will approach the altar and make a prayer with joining hands together. This is an occasion to exhibit the life of the person that has died before choosing your seat. If Buddhist monks attend a funeral, it is common for them to sit on higher seats than other members. It is also standard practice for everyone else to emanate when the monks stand.
On the other hand, mourners at funerals are expected to wear a dress, which must be simple. The most proper color to dress to a Buddhist funeral depends on the particular tradition developed by the person that has died. Japanese Buddhists may wear black clothing to a funeral, but some other nationalities favour white attire. So, you can ask the bereaved family or their funeral director before attending the funeral.
The Buddhist worldview is based on the fact that birth is just the beginning of the movement towards death, which is ultimately inevitable. Therefore, the whole life of a Buddhist is a preparation for death, which is followed by rebirth, and the periods before and after death are of great importance for these rebirths. In accordance with this worldview, Buddhist funeral rites are held. And, the funeral is considered simply to send a person to another world.