Buddhist Funeral Services

Buddhist Funeral Beliefs and Practices 

Buddhist funeral services in Singapore have a standard core set of beliefs. Since death is a natural part of life, Buddhists don’t find it necessary to spend time and money on elaborate practices and ceremonies to mark the end of life. Many Buddhists feel that the resources spent on such services would be better spent on worthy causes or charities.

Buddhists believe that death is part of a cycle known as Samsara. Buddhists believe that after death, they’re reincarnated or reborn. Since Buddhists don’t believe in salvation. The main focus of a funeral is to pay homage to the dead. The ceremonies also serve to ease the deceased as they transition into their next lives.

From these beliefs, you can assume that most Buddhist funerals are simple, modest affairs.

Buddhist Funeral Rites and Ceremonies

Buddhist tradition suggests that death should occur in a calm and peaceful environment. With close friends and family in attendance. Together they should reflect on the good deeds the dying person has done throughout their life. In the hopes, it will help them in their next reincarnation. Additionally, family and friends can perform good deeds on behalf of them. Which they believe will be of merit to the deceased.

Once the person has died, their body should not be touched, moved, or disturbed for at least four hours. This is because Buddhists believe the soul doesn’t leave the body straight away. The body must be kept cold and should be cleansed and dressed in their everyday clothes. 

As for offerings, vegetarian food and fruits are often placed as offerings for the deceased and ancestors. A joss stick holder would be placed in the middle of the deceased altar. For the placement of joss sticks offered by family, friends, and relatives. Candles are also a common sight in Buddhist funeral services. 

Chanting and praying play a vital part in the death process of the Buddhists. As a person lies dying, family members or monks often chant partitas or protective verses. After the person dies, the chanting continues to help ease the transition of the soul out of the body. 

Chanting may also take place during the wake. The chanting may be pre-recorded or may be performed by monks 

Finally, chanting also occurs during the cremation process or interment of the body.

Resources for Families and Loved Ones

Buddhists traditionally continue to pray and offer chants for the dead during the mourning period. This period can last between a month and 100 days.

The range of cultures and ethnicities among Buddhists makes it difficult to form many generalizations regarding Buddhist funeral traditions. Overall the ceremonies tend to be quiet, modest occasions. 

Post-Buddhist Funeral Services

Rituals and Memorial

While many other religious traditions hold a single event after the passing of a loved one. It is common for Buddhists to have multiple services throughout the mourning period.

Specific days are significant in the Buddhist mourning journey, with activities or rituals happening on the 3rd, 7th, 49th, and 100th days following the person’s death. Odd numbers offer a sense of “becoming,” which is why families might hold the funeral 3 or 7 days after death or continue funeral activities for 3, 5, or 7 days.

One notable occurrence is 49 days after death in Buddhism. The total mourning time often lasts for 49 days, with Buddhist prayer for the dead conducted every 7 days, for 7 weeks. The prayers help to facilitate the deceased as they journey into the afterlife.

In Buddhism, the belief is that rebirth happens 49 days after a person passes away, although this exact length of time varies between Buddhist traditions. For example, some groups believe that the person’s karma determines how soon the reincarnation will happen, which affects the mourning period after the funeral.

Families in mourning will continue to avoid celebratory activities for 100 days after the passing of a loved one. On the 100th day, they celebrate to honour the successful passing of the individual into the new life that lies ahead. During this ceremony, the family can choose to include prayers and offerings on behalf of their loved one, and later they may enjoy foods that were loved by the person who died.

Burial and Cremation

Due to their belief in reincarnation, cremation is seen as the preferred choice when a loved one dies. The physical body holds little significance to the Buddhist faith, it is merely a vessel for holding the soul. Buddhists also believe in organ donation as it is seen as a good deed.

Etiquette for Attending a Buddhist Funeral Services in Singapore

On arrival at a Buddhist Funeral, mourners should quietly proceed to the altar where they can pay their respects with a slight bow and hands folded in prayer; here mourners should think about the person who has died and the life they led. Attendees are welcome to join in the chanting, but it is acceptable to remain silent if you are unfamiliar with the chants. If monks are in attendance, it is common etiquette for mourners to follow their cues about when to sit and stand.

As for attire, the family wears white or covers themselves using a white cloth. Mourners should wear simple, black or dark clothing. Wearing expensive or flashy clothing/jewellery is seen as a display of wealth and not in keeping with Buddhist funeral etiquette.

Why Choose the Singapore Funeral Committee?

Choosing the right Buddhist funeral package in Singapore is an important decision, as it can greatly impact how a loved one is remembered and honoured. One of the main reasons to choose the Singapore funeral committee that specializes in Buddhist funeral services is their expertise and knowledge of the customs and traditions of this faith. This ensures that all aspects of the funeral service, from the funeral arrangements to the actual ceremony, are conducted according to Buddhist principles.

In addition, choosing the best Singapore funeral services that provide Buddhist funeral services can provide a sense of comfort and reassurance during a difficult time. Our staff is often trained to provide emotional support and guidance, helping families navigate the grieving process and providing comfort during the funeral service itself.