What are the Customs Followed at a Buddhist Funeral? A funeral is the last rites performed by every community after a person’s death. Different communities have various practices for funeral but the ultimate aim of each type of funeral is to pray for the departed soul to rest in peace. In Singapore, Taoist, Buddhist, Chinese, and Christian funerals are the most common. Buddhism is followed by millions of adherents across the globe and it is believed to have originated in India. You can also find funeral directors that specialise in arranging Buddhist funeral in Singapore. Here’s a look at the common Buddhist funeral practices: Preparing for death When death nears, the family gathers and maintains calm for the peaceful transition of a person into the afterlife. Since death is a natural transition, it is to be accepted by both the family and the dying person. They may be reminded of their good deeds to make them feel better. The focus however is on making the person feel comfortable as they pass on. Preparation of body After the death, the person’s body is not touched or moved in any way as it is believed that the soul takes some time to leave the body. It should be cold before washing and cleaning. The deceased is further dressed in plain clothes and a wake is organised prior to the funeral. The wake The wake is a peaceful affair where an open casket is placed with the photo of the deceased along with a statue of Buddha. Fruits, candles, and incense sticks are placed around the casket. Funeral On the morning of funeral, monks come to perform the last rites which mainly consist of chanting. The chanting should be such that it helps the mourners in accepting the truth of death and should not contradict with the teachings of the Buddhist faith in any way. Funeral rites Both burial and cremation are acceptable in Buddhist funerals and the decision is based on the personal preference. The funeral service is supposed to be simple as the display of wealth is considered inappropriate. When attendees enter, they move towards the casket bowed and their hands pressed together in prayer. If the body is to be buried, monks may lead the chanting at the graveside. Post-funeral traditions In Buddhism, the mourning period can last from seven to ninety days. However, there is no official rule prescribing what should or should not be done during this period. After the Buddhist funeral, food is
served and the guests will gather. In some communities, the monks will hold a ceremony 7 days after burial with a motive of transferring good energy to the deceased and help them on their way. Search the web for more information and suggestions on choosing the best funeral director for Buddhist funeral in Singapore.