Guide to Conduct and...

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Guide to Conduct and Ceremony

Part 2. Formalities concerning Family Affairs

Chapter 6. Funerary Rites

Section 4. The Ceremony of Placing the Deceased in the Coffin

1. As soon as the funeral clothing and coffin are ready, the body of the deceased must be washed and then dressed. After putting the funeral clothes on the body of the deceased, the old practice of tying the corpse should be avoided.
2. It is not necessary to provide new clothing of expensive fabric for the deceased. From among the deceased's usual clothes, choose the cleanest clothing for the funeral. The funeral clothing for the deceased should be that person's usual formal clothes or clothes for going out.
3. The coffin should be of adequate size in length and width. When placing the deceased in the coffin, it should be made certain that the coffin is well sealed.
4. The coffin should be appropriately lined with cloth as necessary according to custom.
5. After finishing the process of placing the body in the coffin, the coffin should be covered with a cloth, drapery should be placed around the coffin, and the funeral room should be arranged. A portrait of the deceased should be placed in front of the room. The relatives and mourners should be gathered and all of the procedures for placing the deceased in the coffin should be carried out in the following order:
1) Opening
2) Entering Samadhi
3) Mental affirmation (Ceremonial Text 24)
4) Prostration
5) Recitation of the Sacred Mantra, 3 times (Ceremonial Text 3)
6) Dharma instruction for sending on the spirit (Ceremonial Text 4-5)
7) Recitation of scriptures (the Il-Won-Sang Vow and the Heart Sutra)
8) Recitation of the Buddha's name (for 5 to 10 minutes)
9) Closing.
6. After the closing, the tag of the deceased (Ceremonial Text 76) should be hung in front of the room of the deceased body, and when carrying the coffin, it should be carried in front of the funeral procession. After the funeral, it should be hung in front of enshrinement room of the deceased tablet, and it should be taken away after the final deliverance service. On the tag of the deceased (Ceremonial Text 77) only the dharma title and dharma merit such as of Cardinal Master (chongsa), Great Servant of the Way (taebongdo), Great Protector of the Dharma (taehobŏp) and Great Bestwoer (taehŭisa) should be written.