Buddhist Funeral Service
Simple, Solemn, and Dignified
What to expect in a Buddhist Funeral Service
Buddhist funeral service in accordance to Buddhist teachings and rituals is simple, solemn and dignified.
In Buddhist teachings, the Buddhist funeral service must be within one’s means and not extravagantly elaborate and flashy. Upon death, the deceased must be cleaned and bathed, clothed and laid down inside a casket. The deceased will be taken to a funeral home or some may conduct the ceremony at home where the funeral wake will take place for a few days. An altar will be set up bearing a portrait of the deceased and an assortment of offerings depending on the loved one’s choices.
Those who come to pay their last respects would be expected to give an offering of flowers or incense (depending on the family’s wishes). In Malaysia, it is common for friends, family, and acquaintances to give ‘pak kam’ (white money, in literal translation) as a donation to the family for the funeral expenses. The family may use the donation to bear funeral expenses or donate it to the charity organization of their choice.
Monks and nuns are usually invited to chant prayers, joined by close family members and sometimes fellow members of Buddhist organizations. During the funeral wake, recordings of Buddhist verses are usually played in the background.
Engaging a professional funeral service provider for Buddhist funeral services will give family members peace of mind knowing that the last journey of the deceased is prepared well.