• 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.

  • Common Questions About Attending a Funeral

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    When attending funeral services, you might have many questions. What should I say? When do I visit? These questions and more are important to consider when comforting someone. Whether you are an immediate family member, a good friend, or a brief acquaintance, know that your presence is important in this trying time.

    What Should I Say?
    Be kind, and be yourself. Simply saying “I’m sorry for your loss” can be enough. Attending the funeral services of a friend’s loved one shows support in many ways, though they may not realize it until later. You can also offer a kind ear if they need to talk or wish to share a fond memory. No matter what you say, or what you offer, think about the person you’re speaking to. Be respectful in their time of need, as you would want them to be during your time.

    What Should I Wear?
    Tradition has always been to wear dark colors and semi-formal suits and dresses. As funeral and memorial services have changed, so too have the dictated dress guidelines. Sometimes funeral attendees will wear a memorial t-shirt or a show of support for a cause close to the deceased. Other services might be less formal, in accordance with the deceased’s and loved ones’ wishes, and ask that you wear colors based on their religious preference, or colors of the deceased’s favorite sports team, or Hawaiian-style shirts they loved. If there are specific requests, follow them as best you can, and when in doubt, wear something dark or neutral.

    Should I Bring My Children?
    Attending a funeral service can be stressful for anyone. Your child may ask questions to understand what’s happening and why people are upset. They may even become frightened if they see the deceased’s body. Only you have an idea of how your child will react, whether it’s with respect, misunderstanding, or fear. Keep this in mind when deciding if they should attend.

    You may have many questions regarding funeral services near Oahu, HI. Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is here to answer them at (808) 239-8811. Give us a call for information about funeral planning and grief support at our cemetery.

  • A Look at Catholic Funeral Rites

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    As with all religions, the Catholic Church has specific funeral traditions. Catholic funerals usually have three parts. Family members and friends may take part in all parts of the rites or only select events. When you are planning a Catholic funeral, your funeral home can help you make the appropriate plans to adhere to the traditions of the church. Here are the three parts you can expect to find at Catholic funerals.

    The vigil is similar to what other traditions call a wake. During this time, loved ones of the deceased come together for prayers and fellowship in the days leading up the funeral service. Vigils are usually held at a funeral home and may last for one day or over the course of multiple days. There is typically a part of the vigil that is devoted to readings and prayers that are offered by a member of the clergy. Sometimes, eulogies are shared at the vigil rather than the funeral service itself.

    Funeral Liturgy
    The funeral liturgy is usually celebrated as part of a Mass, but it can be celebrated in the funeral home outside of a Mass ceremony. The liturgy is intended to be a celebration of the Catholic tenant of life after death rather than an expression of grief. As such, some clergy prefer not to include eulogies at the funeral liturgy, though some do accommodate them. The funeral home and church can help you make the appropriate plans.

    Rite of Committal
    The rite of committal usually takes place at the location of internment, such as at the site of the cemetery and burial plot. The attendees share prayers and a final goodbye at this point. In the case of cremation, the rite of committal can take place at another location, such as the funeral home.

    Valley of the Temples Memorial Park honors funeral traditions across faiths and cultures and can assist you with funeral planning in Oahu, HI. Choose from a variety of personalization options and get access to grief counseling services. Contact us with your questions at (808) 239-8811.

  • How to Personalize a Funeral Ceremony

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    A funeral ceremony gives the friends and family of a deceased person an opportunity to come together and honor the person they have lost. Personalizing the ceremony is one way to ensure you provide a fitting tribute to your lost loved one. Your funeral home can offer several ways to make funeral services feel personal, so work with them to plan a ceremony that feels like a reflection of the person you are honoring.

    Music and flowers are a great way to capture the personality of the person you have lost and bring back happy memories for the people in attendance. You can also work with your funeral home to add elements to traditional services, such as a butterfly release ceremony or a tribute video. Planting a Hawaiian tree legacy or having a memorial bench or other feature added to the cemetery in honor of your loved one creates a place to for family and friends to visit in the future.

    Let Valley of the Temples Memorial Park help you design a personalized funeral ceremony near Oahu, HI in our beautiful funeral home and cemetery grounds. Get answers to your questions by calling (808) 239-8811.

  • Tips for Explaining Cremation to Your Children

    Cremation Services Oahu

    Cremation is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries by different cultures around the world. Unfortunately, the beauty of cremation is often lost on children who instead focus on the negative aspects such as the flames, the heat, and the ashes. It’s completely natural for children to be confused and even frightened by cremation, but it’s your job to help your children feel more at ease with this time-honored tradition. If your family will be attending a cremation service in Oahu, these tips will help you explain cremation to your children prior to the funeral.

    Choose Your Words Carefully
    The first thing to remember when explain cremation to very young children is to avoid using words such as “fire” or “burn” that may sound frightening. Instead, you might try to explain the process in terms of how heat changes turns the body into remains. It’s also important that your children understand that the deceased will feel no pain during the cremation, which is one of the biggest fears children have about the process.

    Explain the Historical and Cultural Significance
    You might also help your children feel more comfortable with the idea of cremation by explaining its historical and cultural significance. Cremation dates from at least 20,000 years ago in the archaeological record, and cremated remains can be found throughout the world dating back thousands of years.

    Talk with a Funeral Director
    If you aren’t sure how to explain cremation to your children, speak with the funeral director at the memorial park handling the cremation services. Funeral directors can provide you with resources that will help you explain cremation to your children in a way that helps them understand the spiritual significance of cremation and why their friend or loved one is being cremated.

    If you’re planning cremation services for a loved one, Valley of the Temples in Oahu, HI can help. We will assist you in creating a uniquely personal service for your loved one. Our grief counselors and funeral directors can also help you explain cremation to your family prior to the service. Please call us at (808) 206-7610 to learn more about our cremation services, funeral planning, and grief counseling.

  • What to Expect at a Catholic Funeral?

    At Valley of the Temples, we are experienced at planning Catholic funerals. What sets a Catholic funeral apart from other funeral services? Here is a closer look at Catholic funeral traditions.

    Catholic Funeral on Oahu - Valley of the Temples


    The vigil, which is also sometimes called a wake, is a time for family and friends to gather before the funeral. During the vigil, people pay respects to the departed loved one and offer support to surviving family members. Usually, there is a group prayer led by a priest during the vigil as well as an area for people to pray alone. The casket is usually at the vigil, either open or closed. A vigil can be held for a single night or may be held over the course of a few nights at the funeral home.


    The mass is the central part of Catholic funerals. During the mass, the casket is received at the church and the priest leads opening rites, the liturgy of the word, the liturgy of the Eucharist, and the final committal. Catholic funeral masses are similar to other Catholic masses. However, there is no kiss of peace and no burning of the incense. Although eulogies were excluded from Catholic funerals in the past, churches are now welcoming them as part of the mass, usually after communion.


    Cremation is growing in popularity among Catholic families, but burial is still part of many Catholic funeral services. Before the burial takes place, the priest leads a final prayer at the graveside and blesses the grave and the coffin with holy water.

    Valley of the Temples is committed to ensuring every family that chooses our funeral home is able to honor their customs and traditions. We can help at all stages of funeral planning, from tribute videos to grief services. To learn more about our funeral home, please call (808) 206-7610.

  • Understanding Catholic Funeral Traditions

    Funeral services often share similar elements, such as a visitation prior to the ceremony. However, they can vary widely in their details. At a funeral service that is held for a Catholic individual, there will likely be a crucifix placed in the lid of the casket and above the casket. A rosary may be placed in the decedent’s hands. There will also be a kneeling rail in front of the casket, at which mourners can kneel to pray and pay their respects to the deceased. After saying a prayer, the mourners will enter the receiving line of family members.

    You can learn more about Catholic funerals by watching this video. The funeral director explains what you can expect from the service, which is traditionally presided over by a priest.

    When planning Catholic funerals in Oahu, you can turn to Valley of the Temples for customizable options and compassionate assistance. To learn more about our services, call (808) 239-8811.