Guide to Conduct and...

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Guide to Conduct and Ceremony

Part 2. Formalities concerning Family Affairs

Chapter 6. Funerary Rites

Section 6. Burial Ceremony and Burial

1. The burial ceremony shall begin after the casket arrives at the burial site. In case of cremation, it begins after ignition, and in case of burial, it begins after leveling the ground. It shall be performed in the following order:
1) Opening
2) Mental affirmation (Ceremonial Text 24) and bow together (2 times)
3) Recitation of the Sacred Mantra, 1 time
4) Recitation of scripture (the Heart Sutra)
5) Farewell address (Ceremonial Text 30)
6) Closing.
2. If the deceased’s dharma stage had been that of Right Master or above, the reading of a farewell address shall be omitted during the ceremony.
3. As for the form of burial, either ground burial or cremation may be chosen as deemed appropriate. In the case of ground burial, there is the conventional method of building a mound over a grave and the method of flattening the ground, establishing a level quadrangle or rounded platform, and erecting a headstone at the center. In the case of cremation, there are three methods after burning the deceased’s remains: to scatter the ashes on a mountain or in a stream; to make a mound and bury in the manner previously mentioned; and to erect a tower and enshrine the remains inside of it. The method may be chosen as deemed appropriate and according to the occasion.
4. The burial site shall be appropriately selected, eschewing the traditional custom of taking into account geomancy, in which the geography is believed to determine the prosperity of one’s offspring 5. After the funeral, the photo or the memorial tablet (Ceremonial Text 78) of the deceased shall be enshrined in an immaculate room for 49 days. The bereaved family and related persons shall pray for the deceased’s deliverance into nirvana through frequently reciting Buddha’s name and reciting scriptures.
6. The conventional method of tablet placement, holding post‐funeral rites, ancestral rites of the first and fifteenth of every month, offering food to the deceased’s tablet in the morning and evening, celebrating the first and second anniversaries of the deceased’s passing, as well as other potentially cumbersome ceremonies, shall be abolished.