The Buddhist tradition is very diverse and there is no single funeral service or ritual common to all Buddhists. The great majority of practicing Buddhists will have an existing connection with a group or community who will normally be able to provide a teacher or community member to take the funeral service. For people who are not actively involved with a specific tradition the situation is more complicated. Ideally the deceased will have indicated in advance which Buddhist tradition they feel a connection with—e.g. Zen, Tibetan, Theravada, Pure Land.
Arranging A Buddhist Funeral Services
Most Buddhists are cremated, following the example of the Buddha, but this is not invariably the case. Some Buddhist traditions say that at least 4 days should pass before the body is cremated and that embalming should be avoided if at all possible. The general advice is that the body should be left as undisturbed as possible in the interval between death and cremation or burial.
When paying their respects, guests should stand straight in front of the altar, and bow with hands clasped together or observe a moment of silence. It is not necessary to offer joss sticks. Guests should, if they are able to, join the mourn-ers in the chanting. Otherwise, they should observe in silence and if need be speak softly, especially when a chanting session is on. Having a gambling session at the pretense of passing time is certainly distasteful and a clear sign of disrespect. Out of respect for the Dhamma, you should remove your head coverings (hat or cap), when the Dhamma is being recited or a sermon is being delivered. Unless you are sick or because of old age, it is also considered disrespectful if you take a seat higher than the monks or are seated while the monks are standing.
If there is a Buddhist Chaplain associated with your local hospital or hospice they should be able to provide help and guidance. If not you can alway seek advice or help from us. All of our Buddhist funeral directors are You can contact us via emails firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us at +65 9239 9165 / +65 83822962