• Chinese Funeral Customs in America

    chinese funeral customs

    When you’re planning a funeral service that is rooted in deep cultural traditions, it’s very important to find a funeral home that can accommodate your unique needs. Buddhist funerals and Chinese funerals follow specific procedures and customs depending upon the age of the deceased. Here is a look at some of the most common Chinese and Buddhist funeral customs in America.

    How Friends and Family Prepare
    Arranging a Chinese funeral is a task that typically falls to the children or younger family members of the deceased. When planning a funeral, family members will consult the Chinese Almanac to choose a date for the funeral service and burial service. They will send out white invitations to the Chinese funeral service and burial service if the deceased was under 80 years old, and pink invitations if the deceased was over 80 years old.

    What Guests Should Wear
    Much like other funeral services, guests at a Chinese funeral or Buddhist funeral should wear somber colors, like black, gray, or blue. Colorful or bright clothing should be avoided, though white is acceptable, and pink and red may be worn if the deceased was over 80 years old. You should also dress respectfully when attending a burial service or memorial service at a funeral home, residence, or Byodo-In Temple.

    What Happens During and After the Funeral Service
    A wake often precedes the Chinese funeral service, and can be held at a family’s home, a Byodo-In Temple, or a funeral home. It may last several days, and family members may keep an overnight vigil. During the funeral ceremony, the family may burn joss paper, fake money, and miniature symbolic items. After the funeral service, a burial service is held at a Chinese cemetery, or cremation services occur at a crematorium.

    If you’re looking for a funeral home that can accommodate a Chinese funeral near Oahu, HI, come see us at Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. We have experience planning funerals, cremations, and burial services for members of our community of all faiths, religions, and cultures. To learn more about our funeral services, call us today at (808) 239-8811.

  • What Happens at a Buddhist Funeral?

    Buddhist Funeral Tradition Oahu

    If you are attending a Buddhist funeral, you may have questions about what to expect. Calling the funeral home hosting the funeral is a good way for guests to get insight into questions about cultural traditions to honor, such as respectful dressing. This look at Buddhist funeral services will also help you understanding the traditions.

    Immediately After a Death
    There are no specific steps that are required immediately after death in the Buddhist faith, however, some members of the Buddhist community do adhere to certain rules. Some people believe that a fellow Buddhist should be present during and immediately after a death, and that the body remain with that person for up to four hours after death. There is also a tradition, honored by some, that no autopsy or cremation should occur until at least three-and-a-half days after the death. Embalming should not be performed during this time, if allowed by the funeral home.

    Funeral Services
    Buddhist funeral traditions are very diverse. There is no single funeral ceremony practice that is recognized by all members of the community. Typically, a Buddhist teacher or community member can perform the funeral service in keeping with the preferences of the person who is deceased. Often, Buddhists will indicate what traditions—such as Zen or Tibetan—resonate the most with them, and the family will plan the funeral according to those customs. Many Buddhists are cremated, though some do choose burial.

    Because Buddhists funeral traditions are so varied, pre-planning a funeral can be extremely helpful to families. You can work with a funeral home to design the services that you want while alleviating the stress your family could face trying to make these decisions while they are in the process of mourning.

    Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is experienced in planning Buddhist funeral services in Oahu, HI and can help you honor your faith or that of a loved one during the planning process. From our Byodo-In Temple to our peaceful grounds, we are dedicated to providing essential services for Buddhist funerals. To learn more about our services, please call (808) 239-8811.

  • Get a Closer Look at the Byodo-In Temple

    When you are in Hawaii, going to visit the Byodo-In temple near Oahu can be a great way to experience even more beauty in the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands. Watch this video to see what to expect when you visit the Byodo-In Temple.

    At first, it may seem strange that this temple is in a cemetery and memorial park, but the beauty and serenity of this temple make it the right setting. It is an independent Buddhist temple and was built in the 1960s. Before entering the temple, ring the bell. After you leave the temple, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the temple grounds.

    If you wish to visit the Byodo-In Temple, contact Valley of the Temples at (808) 239-8811. We look forward to sharing the exquisite beauty of this site with you.

  • What to Expect at a Buddhist Funeral

    Buddhist Funeral O'ahu

    With 3-4 million practicing Buddhists in America, you may find yourself attending a Buddhist funeral. If you are planning to attend a Buddhist funeral ceremony near O’ahu, HI, it will be helpful to know what to expect. Read on to gain a better understanding of what a Buddhist funeral is like.

    As long as the ceremony is simplistic and dignified, there are many ways to hold Buddhist funeral. The Buddhist faith accepts many different rituals. Although Buddha was cremated, embalming and cremation are both considered appropriate. However, prior to embalming or cremation it is thought best to disturb the body of the deceased as little as possible.

    Many Buddhist funerals will take place on the third, seventh, forty-ninth, or one-hundredth day after the death. Because of this, funeral services can be held prior to or after embalming or cremation occurs. These services can take place at a cemetery or the family’s home.

    The Wake
    If there is a wake, the deceased will be dressed in simple clothes and may be surrounded by a photo of Buddha, incense, colorful fruits and flowers. When it is practical, chanting will occur at the wake. These chants may be recorded ahead of time or performed live by monks.

    The Funeral
    There are many appropriate ways to hold a Buddhist funeral, but it is never acceptable to express grief through riches. As with the wake, flowers, fruits, and a photo of Buddha may appear next to the deceased. Monks and other mourners may deliver prayers, sermons, or chants. Those attending should also join the chanting and remove any head coverings during prayer and sermons. At the end, the monks and family will lead a procession. If the deceased in is a casket, the procession will continue to the burial site.

    If you are planning a Buddhist funeral ceremony, please call Valley Of The Temples at (808) 239-8811. Since 1963, we have been helping families of all faiths lay their loved ones to rest in a peaceful and serene setting on the Windward side of O’ahu.