Buddhist Funeral Services and Packages Singapore

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Buddhist Funerals in Singapore: Customs, Traditions and Rites to Know Of

As we go through life, funerals are something we eventually witness, attend, or unfortunately participate in. These events often come with much confusion, discomfort and perhaps, even a general sense of loss.

Our four-part series will provide you with the answers you’re looking for, by delving into the funeral customs, traditions and etiquettes of Singapore’s four major religious groups. In this first part of the series, we’ll explore the ins and outs of Buddhist funeral traditions, customs and rites. Read on to find out more!

What is a Buddhist funeral?

In a country where the Chinese ethnic group is the majority, we’ve all seen our fair share of ‘Chinese’ funerals. These Chinese funerals typically fall into either of two categories—Buddhist or Taoist.

Buddhism has many denominations under its umbrella, and this often determines the manner in which the funerals are conducted. Most Buddhist funerals have monks onsite to offer prayers and meditation.

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Buddhist funeral traditions

So, what exactly is the essence of a Buddhist funeral? Well, let’s take a look at some of the traditions!

Upon entering a Buddhist funeral, you’ll almost always spot an altar with fruits, candles and the deceased’s portrait, alongside objects that honour them on display. You’ll also see a Buddha statue or motif either on the altar or near the enclosed area surrounding the deceased.

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Buddhist funeral setup with Buddha statue displayed on the altar and motifs of Buddhist deities and sutras on the backdrop

Aside from these Buddhist customs that are more visual, you may also come across monks reading the sutras and reciting chants. Some families may opt to have monks invited throughout the course of the wake, while others may prefer to have them only at certain points of the wake.

A procession follows at the end of the wake, where family members of the deceased trail behind the hearse containing the casket. They do this for a short distance before making their way to the cremation or burial site. This procession symbolises the last journey and send-off of the deceased.

While funerals traditionally contain more sombre connotations, Chinese customs do incorporate a slightly more celebratory tone if the deceased is above 100 years of age. In such a context, the family serves what is known as longevity peach buns to celebrate the long and prosperous life lived by the deceased.

Longevity peach buns - All About Buddhist Funeral Service

Longevity peach buns

Buddhist funeral etiquette

You might ask, do these traditions extend to us as guests at a wake? Are there things we should take note of when attending a Buddhist funeral?

While most of the Buddhist traditions are specific to those who are directly involved in the wake (i.e. the family of the deceased), it’s always courteous and respectful for us as guests to familiarise ourselves with the traditions.

For Buddhist funerals, family members are usually dressed in white. For guests, darker colours are often adhered to and of course, red is to be avoided (as this is a colour that’s often associated with celebratory occasions within the Chinese ethnic group).

It’s understandable that some of us may be averse to offering joss sticks, whether due to religious or personal reasons. Offering a simple bow or moment of silence when viewing the deceased are viable forms of showing one’s respect as well.

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Other typical forms of expressing sympathy and condolence are through the giving of baijin (condolence money) and the gifting of sympathy stands (whether floral or LED). If you’re intending to gift the bereaved family LED sympathy stands, do be sure to engage a licensed LED wreath vendor as Singapore’s government has recently tightened the rules surrounding the display of such stands.

These days, funeral parlours in Singapore are also incorporating wishing trees and memory books. Guests can leave condolence messages and share fond anecdotes of the deceased, adding a personal touch to the funeral proceedings.

Wishing tree and memory book

Wishing tree and memory book provided by the Direct Funeral Services team

After all, what better way to honour the legacy of those who are no longer with us than to remember the beautiful moments that we once shared with them?

What other aspects of a Buddhist funeral in Singapore would you like us to explore? Drop us your suggestion via our Instagram @directfuneralservices! In the meantime, stay tuned for the second of our four-part series where we explore the customs, traditions and rites of Catholic funerals.

Buddhist Simplicity Package (3 Days Wake)

$5,888
Inclusive of 9% GST $6,417.92

Embalming, Handling & Encoffin Service
1Collection of Deceased
2Professional Embalming & Makeup
3Peace Casket (E04)
Preparation of Memorial Ceremony
4Wake
– Void Deck Enclosure
– Round Table
– Square Table
– Chairs
– Fans
– General Lighting
5Floral Arrangement – Chrysanthemums
6Photo Enlargement
– 1 Large Photo with 10” X 12” Wooden Frame
– 6 Passport Size Photos
7Dignified Buddhist Altar Set-up
8Buddhist Blanket
9Condolence Donation Book
Coordination of Funeral Service & Memorial Ceremony
10Professional Service Team
11Buddhist Prayer Service
– Encoffinment – Final Night – Funeral
12Vegetarian Offering
– Encoffinment – Final Night – Funeral
13Buddha Offerings
14Incense, Candles & Other Prayer Items
15Mobile Toilet
Funeral Procession Service
16Di Zang Wang Pu Sa Hearse
17Air Conditioned Bus for 45 Pax
18Towel Souvenirs for Guests
After Care Service
19Flower Water
Items Not Included In Package :
– Chiller
– Catering
– Drinks & Snacks
– Mourning Garments

Buddhist Value Package (3 Days Wake)

$10,999
Inclusive of 9% GST $11,988.91

Embalming, Handling & Encoffin Service
1Collection of Deceased
2Professional Embalming & Makeup
3Cremation Fees & Ashes Collection Services
* Only applicable for Mandai Crematorium
48 Sided Elegant Casket (S803)
Preparation of Memorial Ceremony
5Wake (Void Deck with Full White Drapery)
– Void Deck Enclosure
– Curtain & Carpet
– Round Table
– Square Table
– Chairs
– Fans
– General Lighting
6Information Signage
7Floral Arrangement – Chrysanthemums
8Photo Enlargement
– 1 Large Photo with 10” X 12” Wooden Frame
– 6 Passport Size Photos
9Dignified Buddhist Altar Set-up
10Buddhist Blanket
11Condolence Donation Book & Safe Box
12Guest Book
13Crew Neck Mourning Garments in S/M/L
Coordination of Funeral Service & Memorial Ceremony
14Professional Service Team
15Buddhist Prayer Service
– Encoffinment – Final Night – Funeral
16Vegetarian Offering
– Encoffinment – Final Night – Funeral
17Buddha Offerings
18Incense, Candles & Other Prayer Items
19Mobile Toilet
20Drinks & Snacks
– Bottled Drinking Water
– Packet Drinks
– Snacks & Accessories
21Chiller
22Buffet Style Catering
23Night Service Attendant, last night
Funeral Procession Service
24Mercedes-Benz Vito Hearse
25Air Conditioned Bus for 45 Pax
26Orange Souvenirs for Drivers
27Towel Souvenirs for Guests
28Light Refreshments
After Care Service
29Flower Water

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