Examining the Traditional Parts of a Chinese Funeral

Funeral Home San Mateo

Funeral rites are an important part of traditional Chinese culture funeral services. There are a number of prescribed rituals, depending on the age, family, and social status of the deceased. Preparations for the funeral will often take part before the death. Family members may order a coffin and arrange a funeral ceremony in San Mateo during the loved one’s final illness. There are several main stages to the funeral ceremony.

The Wake
During the wake, mourners gather around the body of the deceased, which has been previously placed in an unsealed coffin. Photographs of the dead are placed at the foot of the coffin. Guests burn incense to honor the deceased. Paper money and food are provided, as symbolic sustenance and financial resources for the deceased on his or her journey into the afterlife. Monks may chant Buddhist or Taoist verses. The ceremony may be accompanied by music played on the flute, gong, and trumpet.

The Funeral Procession
The coffin will be transported to the burial plot in a slow-moving hearse. White paper is often pasted onto the coffin itself and attached to the windscreens of accompanying vehicles. Family members follow the hearse in a set order, according to their position within the family. A long joss stick is kept alight throughout the funeral service.

The Burial
It is considered a good omen to be buried on a hillside or slope. Each family member will throw a handful of earth onto the coffin before it is buried. The family of the deceased will usually distribute red envelopes of money to the mourners, in honor of the dead. Any garments worn at the ceremony must be burnt afterwards. The eldest son of the deceased will salvage a handful of earth from the burial site. This will be placed in an urn and kept at home, in order to commemorate the dead.

At Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park, we believe in helping you create the perfect ceremony for your deceased loved one. Whether you wish to arrange a traditional burial, cremation, or a more modern service, we will be happy to offer advice and assistance. Call us at (650) 349-4411 and let us help you honor your deceased loved one.

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