DDM Social Caring Department Promote Solemn Funerals and Protecting the Spiritual Environment

On 3 August 2013, Venerable Chang-Jian, director of DDM Social Caring Department, conducted a demonstration of Buddhist rituals at DDM Luodong Office, including end-of-life chanting (reciting sutras to rest the deceased) and funeral procedures, an important aspect of protecting the spiritual environment. Those who attended the demonstration gained a better understanding of these rituals and of the correct approach to end-of-life chanting.

Venerable Chang-Jian taught that chanting by the family of the deceased has the strongest effect in helping the deceased to rest in peace, because of the familiarity of their voices for the deceased. Ideally, the chanting is most effective if there are approximately ten family members chanting together, although fewer than this can also be sufficient.

Participants had some questions about the chanting process, including: “Is it all right to recite sutras at night?”, “When is it forbidden to recite sutras?” and “What sutras should we recite?” Venerable Chang-Jian said that the Buddha name, “Amituofo,” can be recited throughout the whole day.

Some families of the deceased think that they cannot cry when their family members pass away. Venerable Chang-Jian explained that it is not forbidden to cry, but it is not suitable to cry too much in close proximity to the deceased. Venerable Chang-Jian suggested for fellow Buddhists to take family members outside temporarily to let them cry and comfort them when they cannot stop crying, which will let the funerals for the deceased proceed smoothly.

Venerable Chang-Jian encouraged the public to perform end-of-life chanting actively, as it has benefits for the deceased as well as those who are doing the chanting. He expressed his hope that those who attended the demonstration would put what they had learned into practice.

(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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