Buddhism is associated with words and concepts such as karma, peace, and serenity. What goes around comes around, as the saying goes. In a nutshell, do you’re best without expecting anything in return, and amazing things will come your way. There are no specific representations of how a Buddha looks. However, a huge number of artworks depicting Buddhist teachings have evolved. Buddhist funeral service is marked by a wide range of beliefs, practices, and rites.
Although Buddhists accept that death is only a transition from one form to another, they allow for grief. Friends and family members lament the loss of a loved one. Understanding the transience of life, reflecting on one’s mortality as a drive to make life meaningful, and performing good deeds on behalf of the deceased should be the focal points. There are a few funeral Singapore services that are well-known for Buddhist funerals and services.
The Funeral Ideology
Priests advise people to engage in certain spiritual activities for this throughout their worldly life. Before entering reincarnation, Gautama Buddha meditated. Buddhist masters strive to die in a condition of consciousness cleaned by meditation by retracing his steps.
Buddhists believe that after death, the soul is reincarnated. Although there are many different types of Buddhism, one element that they all have in common is the belief in reincarnation. It serves as the foundation for the majority of Buddhist funeral practices.
Awake may be held, during which mourners may pay their respects to the deceased and express condolences to the family. In front of the casket, there will most likely be a portrait of the departed person. This is the centerpiece of the altar that the family has set up for the wake. Candles and other offerings like flowers and fruit are also placed on the altar. There will also be incense burning. Flowers may be exhibited modestly if the wake is held in a funeral home. According to Buddhist custom, an image of Buddha should also be put near the altar.
Things to Note
Buddhists normally prefer cremation, however, embalming is permitted. Families make their selection based on their unique preferences. No restrictions are dictating when a person is buried or cremated.
On the morning of the burial/cremation ceremony, Buddhist funeral rites are performed. Verses are recited, and monks may be asked to perform the ritual following Buddhist funeral customs. Again, it is dependent on the wishes of the family. The family may just conduct the burial or cremation service.
Organ donation is not prohibited by Buddhism. They also consider autopsies as a method to aid others, hence they are permitted. They prefer that a medical examiner wait three or four days before doing an autopsy until the soul has left the body.
Mourners attending a Buddhist funeral should exhibit general funerary etiquette befitting of a solemn occasion: a calm, reverent demeanor.
Buddhism is practiced by a varied spectrum of people from many nations, hence clothing varies depending on heritage. The family usually dresses in white, while friends may dress in black. Japanese Buddhist mourners wear black, while others may wear white. The bright colors are not acceptable in any case, nor is a display of affluence in the choice of apparel. Keep in mind that there may be some kneeling on a cushion for prayer during the funeral while choosing funeral apparel.
Cremation, according to Buddhists, is an important procedure for releasing the soul from the corporeal form. Because Gautama Buddha, Buddhism’s spiritual teacher, was burned on a funeral pyre, Buddhists frequently follow that custom.
Service of Cremation
Prayers and meditation are permitted, and the body is incinerated following the service. After awake, the body is sometimes incinerated, therefore the funeral is a cremation service.
Buddhists do not have specific funeral customs, however, you can expect an open casket funeral, a funeral that occurs immediately before cremation, or a memorial service that occurs after burial/cremation. The funeral, in whatever shape it takes, will often include prayer and meditation, often led by a monk or monks. If no monks are present, family members will lead the chanting.
Their burial traditions differ, but in general, there is a funeral liturgy with an altar dedicated to the departed. Buddhists are prevalent in Singapore. Monks are frequently in charge of funeral rituals and procedures. During the service, the family sits closer to the front, greeting all those who have come to pay their respects to the deceased. Mourners approach the casket quietly, hands folded in a praying stance, and bend in front of the altar to demonstrate their respect for the departed.
A portrait of the deceased is traditionally put in front of the casket at the altar. Visitors to the wake should make their way to the altar to give their respects and condolences. The funeral service would next be led by monks, who would provide prayers and food offerings such as fruits and vegetables. During the ceremony, there is a period of meditation to reflect on the life of the departed. Typically, the Buddhist funeral service lasts three to five days.
After learning of the death of a loved one, mourners in Singapore can send either sympathy cards or white flowers to the family. Sending flowers to be displayed at the wake/funeral service is appropriate. Some mourners may also bring flowers at the funeral and place them on the altar as a gesture of condolence to the family, but no red flowers.
Participating in a Buddhist Funeral
Non-Buddhist guests are not expected to participate in the Buddhist ceremony, but instead to quietly observe the rites, standing or sitting as advised. Both men and women are welcome to sit together. There is no need for a head covering, and shoes must only be removed if the wedding is placed in a temple. While white is the color of mourning for the family, friends frequently dress in black.
Ritual for the 49th Day
To create merits, charitable activities will be done and committed to the deceased in the next 49 days, according to the teachings of Earth Store Bodhisattva, to save them from their sufferings.
Ritual for the Hundredth Day
The total exit from this planet is completed after a hundred days. This is also the completion date for the tomb construction. The deity in charge of the tomb receives the most heartfelt pleas.
1st/3rd Year Celebration
The first year is made up of 12 lunar months, whereas the third year begins on the 24th month after the date of death. Gong Teck, or post-funeral rites, are held to symbolize the deceased’s reunification with the ancestors.
The Buddhist tradition is extremely diverse, and no particular burial service or ritual is shared by all Buddhists. The vast majority of practicing Buddhists will already have a relationship with a group or community that can usually send a teacher or community member to take the funeral service. The situation is more problematic for those who are not actively committed to a specific tradition.