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​The Principles for Conducting a Buddhist Funeral

To have a solemn, warm, and peaceful Buddhist funeral, it is important to keep it simple, using the guiding principles of cherishing one's blessings and cultivating good karma. A Buddhist funeral shows respect from family members and maintains the dignity of the deceased. It serves not only as a consolation for the family members and their relatives, but also as a chance to educate future generations.
1. From the Buddhist perspective, any day can be a suitable day to conduct a funeral. Thus, there is no need to choose a special date and time to conduct a Buddhist funeral. However, it is necessary to make the appointed day convenient for relatives and friends to attend.
2. Ritual: If no monastics are available to help perform the funeral, family members can do it on their own. A Buddhist funeral should be simple and solemn in which all attendees give blessings to the deceased by reciting the Heart Sutra and Amitabha Buddha's name.
3. Decoration: The place where a Buddhist funeral takes place needs to be neat and simple. Set up a Buddhist altar where a Buddha statue/ image and the photo of the deceased are placed.
4. Offerings: Put flowers and fruits on the Buddhist altar as the offerings to the deceased. Family members serve the attendees with vegetarian meals when it is needed. There is no need to displace the personal belongings of the deceased.
5. Costume: The family members and relatives of the deceased need to dress in dark colors and make themselves look tidy and neat.
6. The clothes for the deceased should be simple, clean, and neat. They can be new or used.
7. On the way to conducting the cremation or burial--or, conversely, to the location where the urn is kept---- family members and their company continuously recite the Buddha’s name in silence.

Dharma Drum Mountain Social Care Center

Extended Reading:
How to Conduct Buddhist Services for Those Who Are Dying or Have Just Passed Away

How to Conduct the 49-Day Buddhist Service for the Deceased

Procedures for the Buddhist Service for the Deceased