Guide to Conduct and...

Dictionary

Guide to Conduct and Ceremony

Part 2. Formalities concerning Family Affairs

Chapter 1. Introduction

When a family forms, children are born. Following that, there are ceremonies for a person's entering into adulthood, weddings, sixtieth birthdays, funerals, deliverance services for the dead and ancestral rites. All such ceremonies come under the heading of family formalities.
If these formalities are properly observed within the family, then all the proprieties of society and the nation will be righteous; and when they are not properly observed, the proprieties will not be righteous because the family is the foundation of society and the nation.
From ancient times, the four essential ceremonies, i.e. coming into adulthood, weddings, funerals, and ancestral rites, have been the four pillars of family formality. Formerly, these ceremonies were extremely complicated. In recent times, as generations have changed, these ceremonies have not been performed in full. In Won-Buddhism, these basic ceremonies have been improved; the ceremonies of birth, sixtieth birthday celebrations, and deliverance services have been restored. These have been drawn up with simplicity as the first consideration. They have been designed to do away with empty formalities and displays, to make the ceremonies more practicable, and to put more value on spirit rather than form. One who learns to observe the proprieties can apply that method in a practical way only after one is awakened to this meaning.