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The Significance Of Rituals In A Buddhists Funeral

Buddhism is one of the most popular religions practised across the globe. The basic principles of the religion have been derived from the teachings of Lord Buddha. Buddhism entails quest for the Ultimate Truth and also a spirit of compassion and true love for every creature.

Buddhist funeral rites are also based upon these fundamental tenets of the religion. When someone dies in a Buddhist family, there are some basic rites which are followed with the aim of ensuring that the soul of the departed can ascend to an elevated level. The positive energies of the dead are evoked to pray and wish the best for the dead person’s next life beyond this birth.

The funeral rituals start with giving the dead person a traditional ablution. After that comes the stage of chanting of religious texts by the priests, thereby directing the soul towards the path of spiritual liberation. The teachings of the Buddha, which speak of the value of goodness and compassion in daily life, are recited aloud. Meanwhile, the body is prepared for the final rites. Friends and family members often keep some money in the casket of the dead person. This is for enabling the dead person to pay and wade across the River of Three Hells.

The casket is then placed before the altar in the house for the loved ones to pay their final respects. The relatives and friends offer condolences to the dead person’s family, while the attendees pray for his soul. Priests who carry out the rituals continue to recite the appropriate sutras. After the chanting is over, people present at the ceremony bow at the altar. After the proceedings, the family members of the departed distribute gifts to the visitors for sharing their grief.

Once these rituals are over, the family can decide to cremate or bury the deceased based on their family beliefs. In all, the rituals try to bring a sense of peace and acceptance to the bereaved family while praying to promote the departed to a higher stage of knowledge and realization.

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A Grieving Family Can Derive Great Support From A Good Funeral Director

Funeral directors provide an excellent source of support and help to a family that is reeling under the sorrow of the recent death of a loved one. They take charge of the entire process of organizing the funeral service and take care of every minute detail allowing the family to cope with their loss without facing the troubles of the proceedings.

The job of a funeral director encompasses several responsibilities starting from making arrangements to bring over the deceased’s body from the morgue or the house to its place of burial or cremation. Formalities and all the documentation involved like getting a death certificate, approvals for holding the funeral, organ donation procedures if any, and much more will need to be overseen by the funeral director.

An efficient funeral director also acts as a single contact point for all services necessary for the funeral like managing vendors of flowers, music, food etc. He will be responsible for organising publication of obituaries in newspapers and informing the funeral service venue and programme to expected attendees, who could be the relatives or friends of the deceased.

The funeral director, in consultation with the family, fixes the date and venue for the funeral, and makes arrangements for the memorial service and the last rites. He also arranges for the visitation ceremony before the funeral service wherein close family relatives and friends assemble to offer condolence to the grieving family. The funeral director’s task ends with the final sealing of the deceased person’s grave on the day of funeral.

A funeral director must be compassionate and committed to ensure a smooth and well arranged for funeral service and help the grieving family sail through the toughest time of their lives. Thus, a licensed funeral director who has adequate experience and recommendations must be selected for funeral proceedings. He should be known to perform his task sincerely rather than as an external party, which might charge you a lot and not offer the right type of services.

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The Correct Casket Can Be Your Respect For The Deceased

If a near and dear one has died, it is natural to feel sorrow and grief and unable to come to terms with the irreparable loss and the void that his or her death has created. However, making appropriate arrangements for the funeral still requires to be attended to and this will need the selection of an appropriate casket.

It is extremely hard to be able to concentrate on the quality, price and other factors to be considered in a casket that you intend to purchase during this emotionally tiring and traumatic time. In case the deceased had already made his or her choice known for the casket, or if a particular type of casket is a cultural requirement for the departed person’s family then this job becomes much easier.

Caskets can be of many shapes, sizes and designs, with rate tags varying accordingly. They are usually divided into two key categories, funeral caskets and burial caskets. Burial caskets are generally created only for the aim of funeral rites while funeral caskets allow a final view of the deceased to the loved ones.

Caskets come in different materials, like wood, metal, fibre glass, and marble. In previous times, wooden caskets were preferred and choice from different types of wood like mahogany, maple, oak etc could be made. Polished perfectly, wooden caskets are of high quality and they look classy with a shiny feel, but their rates are also usually higher. In comparison, metal caskets, which are generally cheaper, come in copper, bronze, and stainless steel and are available in an array of colours and designs.

Environment friendly material based caskets are also getting popular these days with so much stress on protecting the planet, particularly among the environmentally aware people. As the basic materials used are completely biodegradable, these caskets cause least damage to the planet. These could be your last tribute to the deceased if he or she believed strongly in safeguarding the environment.

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Suggestions For Preparation Of A Personal Funeral Service

Death is one of the harsh realities of our existence that we are least prepared for. Honouring the dead is a very old practice that has been constantly changing to suit the present times. Traditionally, the funeral service used to take place at the church with singing of solemn hymns and a eulogy. But, this practice is changing these days, with a lot of people wanting to organise a more personal funeral service for their loved one.

Organizing a funeral could be a very painful and hard task, especially right after the death of a relative or a friend. A general myth that a funeral service is a legal requirement is far from truth as no law makes it mandatory to hold a funeral service. Secondly, a lot of people think that a service has to be conducted in a church, which is also a misconception. Conventionally these services might have been organized in churches but with the trends changing and a drive to make things more personal, many funeral services are being held within the residence of the deceased these days. Thirdly, such services do not require the presence of either the pastor or the casket and can be easily held without either.

However, keeping in line with the idea of a personal funeral service, a lot of thought should be given to the wishes of the dead person. The selection of music should be from among the personal choices of the deceased, though it is preferable to have soft music. You could choose from a live performance or playing pre recorded music.

Some families prefer display of the personal items of the dead person in a collage, for the persons assembled to reflect on his or her life. Another crucial aspect in any funeral service is an address, whether as a poem, a song or even a speech describing the deceased.

Lastly, it is advisable to present the people gathered for the funeral with some mementoes that help them keep the memories of the departed alive for years.

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Skills And Personal Qualities Needed For Undertakers

Arranging and organising activities related to funerals are generally taken care of by undertakers, who are also known as funeral directors. Some of the essential qualities and abilities that are required by those in this profession are listed below.

As he may be needed at any time of the day, an undertaker should be open to working at odd hours also. He must be ready to work away from his workplace as the job requires him to be at the place where he is needed.

The undertaker must be able to understand the sentiments of clients, listen and understand their requirements and communicate lucidly. People from different cultures, sects and ethnicities as well as those of different ages will have to be managed by him with equal ease. Understanding and sympathy will be of much importance as he performs his job. But he will need to offer support to the bereaved family and must stay strong and mentally detached so that he can perform his functions well.

As an undertaker, a person must project a dignified and calm personality, while seeing that his disposition doesn’t intensify the sorrow of the grieving family members and friends.

Undertakers must have vast knowledge and profound respect for the religious sentiments and beliefs of various cultures and communities. They should also be aware of the funeral rites and burial customs of various sects.

Excellent management and the power to organize affairs are essential skills for an undertaker. Making arrangements for critical services like flowers, hearse etc will entail cooperation with many providers and will require leadership and management abilities.

Legal procedures and other official formalities to be followed in case of a death should be known to the undertaker who will have to get the requisite approvals etc for the funeral ceremonies and other related matters. He will need to be fully aware of procedures to be followed for the purpose of obtaining death certificates or claims for insurance.

Finally, he must essentially be able to and be qualified to drive vehicles such as hearses and limousines during the funeral ceremony.

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