Guide to Conduct and...

Dictionary

Guide to Conduct and Ceremony

Part 1. General Propriety

Chapter 13. Congratulations and Condolences

Section 3. Appropriate Manners in Expressing Condolences

1. One needs to make a visit of condolence when relatives or close acquaintances are mourning the death of a parent or other similar loss.
2. Though it is not necessary to make a condolence visit before the official announcement of death, when one has a close relationship with the grieving person, one need not wait for the official death notice but should go immediately to assist in arranging the funeral ceremony.
3. When one arrives at a house of mourning, one should first follow the guide of the funeral management. After expressing condolences before the mortuary tablet and greeting the chief mourners, one should again return to the funeral management to sign the guest book for mourners. One may also offer condolence money. If the service is in process, one must greet the chief mourners after it ends.
4. As for the condolence procedures, one must always act suitably according to the situation and circumstances. When expressing condolences before the mortuary tablet, if the family of the deceased is Won-Buddhist adherents, one should, according to the forms of courtesy, offer up mental affirmation or recite scriptures; in other cases, one just makes a bow. In speaking comforting words, to the chief mourners, one must use appropriate expressions of sympathy.
5. One should offer condolence money, a condolence gift, or a condolence poem, depending on the situation and one's intimacy with the person.
6. When a relative or close acquaintance is suffering from illness, one should make a special consolation visit and may take something appropriate to that person. When one meets someone who is ill, one should help that person feel better, and should be moderate in conversation and avoid tedious, exciting, worrisome, or attachment-causing words.
7. When a relative or close acquaintance suffers from a disaster such as flood, fire, or typhoon, one should make a special condolence visit, and if the occasion requires, should take some emergency funds. One should give assistance in any way that one can.
8. When a relative or close acquaintance suffers from a misfortune or large disaster, one should make a special visit, and comfort that person with words of dharma to help relieve that person's suffering.
9. When one cannot console that person face-to-face because one is far awqy or cannot go to that person for some reason, one should send a telegram of sympathy or a letter of condolence.