Honoring our past ancestors
Understanding the Ancestral Tablet
Ancestral Tablet occupies a central position on the altar of any Chinese traditional home. It’s a sacred element that signifies filial piety observation. Ancestral tablets in temples are the fine alternatives to those tablets that are worshipped at homes, particularly for couples who have not had time to attend these rituals of worship.
If, in addition to a gravestone or a columbarium niche, a Chinese person passes away, if the family wants to pay for a memorial in a temple, they will elect to make up an ancestral tablet. As the Chinese worship or reverence their ancestors, they will then have a place to go throughout the year to pay their respects as well as going to the gravestone or niche during Tomb Sweepings which occurs every year at the beginning of April.
What is an Ancestral Tablet?
It is usually made from a piece of wood that is being honored, carved with the name of the ancestor or deity (“God”). Chinese households in Malaysia who practice Taoism usually place them in altars where joss sticks, fruit, or cakes can be offered as an act of worship.
Should I have an Ancestral Tablet?
Buddhist & Taoist believe it will look after or bless the next generation when someone returns to nature. If they have been properly worshiped by the ancestral, their power to bless their family members is better. Some believe a person who has gone past must be worshiped in order to live better and avoid suffering from another world.
Why place it inside a temple?
We are all too busy at this age from daily work & hard to worship our ancestors properly. Some of the living space is prohibited from having an ancestral altar to worship. The best solution to worship an ancestor is to place it in the temple. They have workers in the temple worshiping you ancestor every day with joss stick & chanting mantras playing. Due to the changing lifestyle in the city and the lack of space in modern homes, the tradition of placing tablets of ancestors still persists but mostly in temples.