Guide to Conduct and...

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Guide to Conduct and Ceremony

Part 2. Formalities concerning Family Affairs

Chapter 6. Funerary Rites

Section 5. Processional Ceremony and Funeral Procession

1. Except in special cases, a funeral procession shall take place on the third day after the passing of the deceased. The venue for the ceremony shall be either the temple or the deceased’s place of residence. The ceremony shall be carried out in the order, using the photo or the memorial tablet (Ceremonial Text 78) of the deceased:
1) Opening
2) Wearing the articles of mourning and statement of purpose (Ceremonial Text 25)
3) Address to the deceased by representative of the bereaved family (Ceremonial Texts 26, 27, 28)
4) Mental affirmation (Ceremonial Text 24) and bow together
5) Recitation of the Sacred Mantra, 1 time
6) Dharma instruction for sending on the spirit (Ceremonial Text 4-5)
7) Recitation of scripture (the Il-Won-Sang Vow) and supplication text (Ceremonial Text 29)
8) Closing.
2. When appropriate, entering Samadhi, reporting of the person's life accomplishments, dharma discourse, and a eulogy, incense burning for the general attendants or elegy may be added to the ceremonial procedure. When wearing the articles of mourning one should follow proper clothing regulations set in “Section 7. Wearing the Articles of Mourning.” Then the officiator should read the Statement of Purpose instead of the bereaved family, and after the reading, all those who wear the ribbon or clothing of morning should bow twice to the tablet of the deceased. After a supplication text is read by the officiator, the bereaved family should bow toward the Buddha four times from where they are, together with the officiator of the ceremony.
3. In the ceremony, an address to the deceased by the representative of the bereaved family (Ceremonial Texts 26, 27, 28) may be given with additions or omissions as appropriate, but as a general rule, such an address by any other related participants shall be excluded. However, if needed under special circumstances, it shall be briefly written and delivered based on the address given by the representative of the bereaved family with appropriate modifications.
4. In the supplication text (Ceremonial Text 29), the passages from “the deceased, was usually by nature….” to “carried out practice …” are only given as examples. Any other points of note may be added or omitted as appropriate provided they are true and without undue praise. If the deceased had the dharma stage of Right Master or above, the entire text of the supplication text shall be used with additions and omissions as deemed appropriate, but the passages from “so that will forsake wicked thoughts to have righteous ones,” to “stray from the affinity with the gate of the Way in world after world throughout lifetimes,” shall be omitted.
5. After the ceremony, the procession shall begin in solemn atmosphere. There shall be no bier‐carriers’ chants or wailing during the transporting of the bier.
6. During the procession, the tag of the deceased, the photo of the deceased, the flower wreath, and such shall proceed before the bier. After the bier, the persons concerned such as the bereaved family, relatives, and families-in-grace, and general mourners shall follow in an orderly line.
7. Funeral music, processional decorations, and such during the funeral shall be simple and non‐extravagant, in keeping with the practice of the times, the financial situation of the bereaved household, and the general status of the deceased.