A Complete Guide to Planning a Buddhist Funeral in Singapore While different parts of the world follow different traditions for funerals, Buddhist traditions remain the most commonly practiced at funerals. Buddhists believe that death and life are both a part of the cycle known as samsara and one’s actions in the present and previous lives leads to further reincarnations. It may interest you to know that Buddhism was introduced in modern-day Singapore by migrants from across the world over past centuries. The early days' monasteries and temples were built by settlers that came from various parts of the world and got settled in Singapore. According to online numbers, around 42.5% of the Singaporeans are classified as Buddhist by religion. If approximately half of the population of the country follows Buddhism, then it would not be incorrect to state that the followers of this religion would love to have their funeral planned in accordance to their religious beliefs. The ultimate aim of Buddhists is to free oneself from the desires and liberate from the samsara and attain the enlightenment to reach the state of nirvana. Here’s a look at some of the eminent practices of Buddhism at the time of funeral: Approaching death When a person is approaching death, the family and friends are expected to stay with the dying person and help him/her remain calm. A small statue of Buddha is placed near the head of the dying person and protective verses are chanted to make the dying person feel comfortable. 1. After the death It is said that, according to Buddhist funeral practice, the body of deceased should not be disturbed, touched, or moved as the soul does not leave the body immediately after the breathing stops. 2. Organ donation If the person or family wishes to donate their organs, Buddhist rituals allow for organ donations or even donating an entire body for medical research. 3. Cremation Cremation is acceptable in the Buddhist funeral but requires monks or family members to chant while cremating the body in the crematorium. The remains of the body can be collected the next day by the family and enshrined in a columbarium or scattered in the sea. 4. The memorial services The religious memorial services of the Buddhist funeral in Singapore are held at third, seventh, forty-ninth and one-hundredth day at the family home or the monastery. Dana is performed during the ritual to purify the mind of the giver and seek blessings for the community.
5. The Wake For wakes or visitations, the body should be kept in a peaceful place in a simple open casket dressed in everyday clothes. An altar is placed near the casket along with the image of the deceased, an image of Buddha, candles, flowers, fruits, and incense. Chanting is performed by monks during the wake. The wake can last as long as the family wishes after which the monk performs the last rites. Mourners are expected to wear white for a Buddhist funeral in Singapore as it symbolises grief. Planning and executing all the traditional ceremonies at a funeral may become a little difficult for family members who are still in shock of the sudden demise of the deceased. It may not be possible for them to arrange and plan every ceremony that is required to ensure the heavenly abode of the deceased. You can explore web for more information on various types of funeral services in Singapore and get in touch with those professional companies to plan a funeral ceremony with ease.