Bon-Sho: The Sacred Bell

The Byodo-In Temple at Oahu’s Valley of the Temples is the memorial park’s most recognizable feature. It is also a place where reflection merges with peace, and experts in various fields lead workshops in everything from Okada therapy to water color painting. In addition to workshops, the Byodo-In Temple is the site of Buddhist prayer services.

Before prayer services begin, visitors to the Byodo-In Temple typically hear the tolling of the temple’s sacred bell. This bell, called a bon-sho in Japanese, is the replica of a 900-year-old bronze-and-tin bell at the Byodo-In Temple in Uji, which likely originates from India. The tone the bell makes is said to purify the mind.

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If you are interested in hearing the sacred bell and experiencing one of the Byodo-In’s regular Buddhist prayer services, take a brief look at our online schedule of events. To speak with a caring and helpful cemetery representative about burial sites, cremation memorialization, or funeral pre-planning, call Valley of the Temples in Oahu at (808) 239-8811.

Filipino Funeral Traditions

A sprawling archipelago of more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines is a diverse country with traditions that have been shaped and influenced by both indigenous customs and experiences with colonialism. Covering each and every funeral tradition practiced in the Philippines could fill several volumes; here instead are a few of the county’s best-known funeral-related traditions :

Balinese offering

Bilaan Tree Bark Shroud

Occupying a swath of islands in the Philippines’ southern Mindanao region, the Bilaan people have a truly unique funeral ritual. They wrap the deceased in tree bark before raising him or her to the level of the forest’s canopy.

The Filipino Vigil

There are a number of region-specific funeral traditions akin to those held by the Bilaan in Mindanao. One funeral tradition that is observed by the majority of the population is the paglalamay , or vigil. This vigil can last upwards of a week, and is characterized by the extended exhibition of the casket and the playing of games and music.

All Souls Day Commemoration

Christian Filipinos observe All Souls Day, which has been designated a national holiday by the government. Every year, people clean, decorate, and congregate around the grave sites of lost loved ones. Flowers, candles, and food are all commonplace at All Souls Day gatherings.

Rituals of Mourning

The Philippines also has a host of mourning rituals, most of which are still observed by a portion of the population. These include no bathing or sweeping during the morning period, and nine consecutive nights of communal prayer for the deceased.

Honolulu and Manila are sister cities, but the bond between Hawaii and the Philippines is more than diplomatic. Their placement on the same trans-Pacific trade route facilitated cultural and demographic exchange before Hawaii became a U.S. state and the Philippines an independent nation. If you are looking to lay a loved one to rest in an Oahu memorial park where funeral and burial traditions from the Philippines are honored and respected, call Valley of the Temples at (808) 239-8811.

An Inside Look at Multicultural Burial Traditions in the Philippines

More than a hundred million people call the vast island nation of the Philippines home. The country’s burial traditions are influenced by the religions, cultures, and histories of its diverse inhabitants’ forebears. To learn more about the fascinating and varied funeral traditions, watch this short video.

Produced by the University of San Carlos’ Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and History, this video clip features a manabtan, or reciter of prayers for the dead, who has more than 60 years of experience. She answers a range of questions pertaining to Filipino funeral customs.

If you are looking to expand your knowledge of multicultural funeral practices or commemorate a loved one with a beautiful cemetery site, you should explore what Valley of the Temples in Oahu has to offer. To speak with a caring and knowledgeable member of our staff about our services, call (808) 239-8811.

Creating Tributes After Cremation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Choosing cremation doesn’t limit the options you have to create a lasting and loving tribute to a lost friend or family member. You can opt to hold a traditional viewing and funeral, plan a secular memorial service, or simply make plans for inurnment. After cremation, you can choose from options such as a traditional stone memorial or scattering of the ashes as a final tribute. Ceremonies can be personalized in a number of ways, from the inclusion of a butterfly release ceremony to the addition of special music and readings. Valley of the Temples, a cemetery in Oahu, offers this infographic to assist with cremation funeral planning. You can use this information for funeral pre-planning or share it to help others make decisions about the right arrangements.

Creating-Tributes-After-Cremation-Infographic

How Planning Ahead Can Reduce Stress for You and Your Loved Ones

Byodo-In Temple

The days and weeks following the death of a loved one can be an emotionally draining time for friends and family. While reeling from their loss, the survivors must also contend with the details of planning a funeral and burial. To lessen the stress that may develop from deciding these details, consider funeral pre-planning. Making your funeral and cemetery arrangements now can prove beneficial in several ways. For one, it can give you peace of mind that your end-of-life preferences are carried out as you wish. Second, funeral pre-planning takes the burden off the shoulders of your friends and family. By making clear your desired funeral and cemetery arrangements, you can greatly reduce the anxiety that your loved ones may already be facing during this trying time.

Valley of the Temples provides a wide variety of end-of-life accommodations for residents of Oahu and beyond. Our beautiful memorial park offers in-ground burial, aboveground entombment, and cremation memorialization options. Call (808) 239-8811 or visit our website for more information.