Most people are familiar with the typical funeral rites here in the West. However, funerals in Asia are often quite different. If you've never attended an Asian funeral before, you may be wondering what to expect. Here are five rituals that are commonly performed during Asian funerals. Read on to discover more.
1. Washing and dressing the body
The first ritual during an Asian funeral is the washing and dressing of the body. In many cultures, this is done by family members or close friends. The body is typically washed with water mixed with herbs or other fragrant substances. Once the body is clean, it is then dressed in fresh clothes. In some cases, the clothes may be new; in others, they may be the deceased's favourite outfit.
2. Placing the body in a coffin
After the body is washed and dressed, it is then placed in a coffin. The coffin is often decorated with flowers, personal items, or other mementoes.
3. Prayers and chants
Once the coffin is closed, prayers and chants are often recited by a religious leader or spiritual guide. These prayers usually ask for guidance and protection for the deceased's soul as they transition to the afterlife.
4. Procession to the cemetery
A procession is then held from the local funeral chapel or place of worship to the cemetery or crematorium. The procession usually involves family members and close friends carrying the coffin to its final resting place while chanting prayers or mantras.
5. The burning of money and offering of food
Once they reach the cemetery or crematorium, family members and friends will often burn paper money or offerings such as fruits and incense. This action is carried out as a symbolic act that provides for the deceased's needs in the afterlife. Before leaving, each person will then say a final farewell and bow before the coffin out of respect.
6. Burial or cremation
Once at the cemetery or crematorium, the body is either buried or cremated according to Asian tradition. This marks the end of the formal funeral rites.
Asian funerals often involve many different rituals that may be unfamiliar to Westerners. However, by understanding and respecting these traditions, you can show your support for grieving family members and friends during their time of loss. If you want to find out more, contact a funeral director today. They'll be happy to help you with any further questions you may have.
Losing a child is the hardest thing anyone could ever go through – I know because it happened to me. Through the grief, I had to find new ways to breathe, to function and to live. Of course, I also had to plan a funeral and memorial service for my child. If you have lost a child or a baby or had a stillborn, you have probably shared many of these feelings. If this has just happened to you, you may be wondering what to do next. First, I extend my sympathy, and secondly, I offer you this blog to help you grieve and help you understand the basics of funeral planning. Take care.