Cultural Funerals: Buddhist Funeral Services

Buddhist Funeral Traditions

Basic Funerals is proud to serve Buddhist families. Our team of funeral professionals is experienced in all aspects of arranging a Buddhist funeral service and is here to guide you through every step.

Beliefs About Death

The Buddhist faith focuses on the cycle of life and death that is known as Samsara. In Samsara, people are reincarnated based on actions of their previous incarnations into different forms. The ultimate goal of Buddhists is to break away from all desires and notions in order to be able to liberate themselves from the cycle of Samsara. When this goal is achieved, the person will achieve enlightenment and reach the state of Nirvana in which they do not get reincarnated.

What Happens After Death Occurs?

The death and dying process is very important within Buddhist practices. Upon death, it is important to continue silent communication with the deceased to encourage them to let go of their previous life, to deal with unfinished business, and to wish them peace in the next life. It is believed that the consciousness takes three days to leave the body. It is common practice to leave the body undisturbed for that time in order for the consciousness to experience as little of a disturbance as possible. Organ donation is allowable though as the good karma associated with providing others assistance far outweighs the disturbance of any final stages of dissolution.

Is Cremation Allowed in the Anglican Faith?

Cremation has been practiced by Buddhists for centuries all over the world. Monks may be invited to be present during the cremation to perform chants. There are many options for disposition of the cremated remains, including burial, scattering or simply kept by the family.

Views on Embalming

Embalming is not encouraged within Buddhism, but may be required if the family of the deceased is planning to have a viewing or a wake.

Click here if you like to learn more about Embalming.

The Anglican Funeral Service

Buddhist religious memorial services are held on the third, seventh, forty ninth and one hundredth day after death. Buddhist funeral services can be done at a family home or a monastery. Family members can also choose to restrict the participation of the community that were a part of the deceased’s life in order to keep the funeral service private. Traditional Buddhist funerals leave options to the family when it comes to the presence of the body at the funeral. However it is usually recommended to have an altar by the casket or cremated remains of the deceased and have a picture of them alongside other ritualistic symbols such as flowers, candles and incense. The Buddhist funeral service is consistent with the themes of modesty of the culture and should not be a reason for families to show grief through wealth, it is a funeral service that encourages simplicity. Buddhist monks are sometimes present during funeral services in order to chant Sutras. Chanting Sutras can also be done by the family members of the deceased or even played back from a recording.

Buddhist Temples in Ontario

Toronto Buddhist Church in Toronto

This temple in Toronto is a modern place of worship for many Buddhists. It is often associated with feelings of calm and inner peace. The temple is a Jodo Shinshu temple. It is open for anyone who is interested in joining and provides weekly services in English.

Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery in Ottawa

The vision of this monastery is to preserve the Theravada Buddhist teaching in the Western world.They offer a variety of services such as teaching people traditional Theravada teachings. They also offer a variety of programs every week for anyone who is interested.