Sikh Funeral Traditions
Basic Funerals is proud to serve Ontario’s Sikh community. Our team of funeral professionals is experienced in all aspects of arranging a Sikh funeral and is here to guide you through every step.
Beliefs About Death
Sikhism is a religion that is centred around the concept of reincarnation. When a person dies, soul is reborn and the body is simply considered clothing of the soul that is shed. The goal of Sikhism is to become one with God by using the teaching of the Gurus as guidelines in order to achieve salvation. When a soul achieves salvation, it becomes one with God and is not reborn again in the world.
What Happens After Death Occurs?
When a Sikh dies, their family should plan for a cremation service to take place. Cremation is traditionally the most common method of dealing with the deceased when it comes to Sikhism, however other methods are also accepted such as burial in earth or sea. Sikhs believe that death is a natural cycle of life and the soul is simply clothing for the soul that is shed when death occurs.
Sikhism and Cremation
Cremation is the most common and traditional service performed to the deceased in Sikhism. However if it is not possible or if a family chooses to have a different method of dealing with the body of the deceased, then it is also acceptable.
Views on Embalming
Due to cremation being the main method of dealing with the deceased in Sikhism, embalming is not typically performed. However embalming may have to be used due to regulations if the family of the deceased chooses to have a different arrangement to deal with the body such as an open casket funeral service.
The Sikh Funeral Service
After death occurs, the family will plan the next steps of action for the body of the deceased. Traditionally, the body is taken to a place of worship as soon as possible in which a gathering would happen where prayers and hymns are performed. The body is then transported into a crematorium in which the family of the deceased is expected to witness the cremation process. Prayers and hymns are performed at the crematorium before the process begins. The body should always be accompanied with the deceased’s youngest son or someone else that was very close to the deceased. This person is also encouraged to start the cremation process by taking guidance from the cremation technician present. The cremated remains of the deceased are then taken and scattered on a river. If the family of the deceased chooses to have a burial for the body, then the grave should not have a monument to mark it due to the belief that it is simply clothing that the soul sheds away in their cycle of life.
Sikh Gurdwaras in Ontario
Sikh Spiritual Centre Toronto
Also known as Rexdale Gurdwara Sahib, this place of worship offers a variety of services to the Sikh communities of the city of Toronto and surrounding areas. They also celebrate various festivals and have multiple programs for their communities.
Ottawa Sikh Society Gurudwara Sahib
This community offers various Sikh services such as educational programs and even a Punjabi school to members of the community. They offer teachings as well as community gatherings in order to keep their society united and ensure that everyone is having their needs met when it comes to the Sikh community in Ottawa.
Gurdwara Sahib London Sikh Society in London
This community offers Sikh services fairly regularly. They teach the Sikh culture to parts of their community as well as helping Sikh immigrants learn and adapt to Canadian culture after they move to Canada. They also offer a Sikh historical library for those who are interested in the history of the community and the religion.