Singapore Buddhist Funeral Services

edited buddhist panorama - Singapore Buddhist Funeral Services

In Singapore, majority of the population are Buddhists. Buddhists believe in reincarnation; they believe in being born an infinite number of times until they reach Nirvana, a state of enlightenment which is being able to see the world as it really is. They believe in Samsara which is a cycle of life consisting of life itself, death and rebirth. Buddhists believe that nothing is permanent and that includes our life, as well as the form of life our souls take on. In Buddhism, death in not the end of life in itself but it is the end of the physical body we are attached to in this life. Our soul will be attached to a new body based on the accumulation of one’s actions in the past life.

This law of cause and effect is termed as karma. Rebirth will be into any of the 6 realms, with 3 being good realms:

  • Heavenly
  • Demi-god
  • Human

And with 3 evil realms:

  • Animal
  • Ghosts
  • Hellish

Upon achieving Nirvana, it is believed that the enlightened individual physically dies without being reborn. The very staunch believers are usually cautious to leave the deceased untouched after death until 8 hours has passed. This is due to the belief that the spirit takes 3 to 8 hours for the spirit to depart from the physical body. Even when 8 hours has passed, the body is handled carefully so as to allow the spirit to leave in peace. The dearly departed would usually be dressed in a set of clothes that he/she is comfortable in.

Buddhist funeral services generally have these elements in Singapore:

  • Encoffining Ceremony conducted by a Monk (Usually 1,3 or 5 Reverend Monks)
  • Final Night prayer service
  • Final Day send off

Two altars would be seen at Buddhist Funeral Services in Singapore. The altar closest to the deceased is the deceased altar and the items placed there are for the dearly departed. Vegetarian food and fruits are often placed as offerings for the deceased. A joss stick holder would be placed in the middle of the deceased altar for the placement of joss sticks offered by family, friends and relatives. Candles are also a common sight in Buddhist funeral services. The other altar is meant to be the God’s altar. A Buddha Statue would be placed with fruit offerings, incense and candles. A lot of emphasis is placed on not allowing the joss-sticks to burn out completely. It is said that there would be positive effects for the future descendants if the joss sticks are continuously burnt throughout the Buddhist funeral.

In the olden days, family members would all gather together in the house of the deceased on the seventh day following the death date. This is when the dearly departed is thought to return back home. In fact, some family members even scatter rice grains or flour on the floor just to see if their beloved has really came back to visit.

On the fourty-ninth day, the tablet (usually one made of yellow paper with the dearly departed's particulars during the wake) would be changed to a wooden one. This is when the soul has been transformed to be the ancestor. This is probably also reincarnation is believed to take place.

The hundredth day is yet another milestone for family members. Chinese believe that the mourning period lasts for a hundred days. During this period, they would refrain from attending celebratory occasions. This is due to supersitious reasons. In the very ancient and traditional Chinese, the mourning period extends to three years.

The Chinese New Year following the death of your dearly departed should not be celebrated as it clashes with the mourning period.

It is often common to see a LED headlight being tied to the lamp post that is located nearest to the entrance of the wake venue (for HDB Void Decks, these are usually at the gantries). This is to signify that  wake is being held. The lamp would be taken off at the end of the wake.

Red pieces of papers can also be found at the wake venue especially at lifts or staircases to signify that the deceased has taken this route and ward off any unluckiness if any.

The attire for the wake would be provided by us. The attire differs according to your relationship with the deceased as well as the dialect of the deceased.

Do note that it is normal to offer fruit baskets to the deceased on the final day before heading off to the deceased's final resting place. Usually immediate family members would offer one basket and this is white in color while others who offer would come in more flamboyant colors. Please call us if you want to order fruit baskets. We provide same day delivery service for funeral fruit baskets.

Please click here to find out what to do at home for Buddhist Funerals.

Please click here to find out what to do if the deceased happens to pass away on the spot due to an unfortunate accident.

Call us now at +65 9489 2424 for a non-obligatory consultation!

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A humble service done in remembrance of Mr Tee Hock Chwee, founder of Hock Hin Undertaker established since 1963

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