Honoring Traditions with Last Journey Funeral Service: A Guide to Taoist Funeral Customs

At Last Journey Funeral Service, we understand the importance of preserving and respecting the traditions and customs associated with different religions. With over 20 years of experience, we have witnessed firsthand the significance of providing a dignified last journey for the departed and supporting their loved ones in their time of mourning. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of Taoist funerals, shedding light on their beliefs, rituals, and the support we offer to ensure a meaningful and peaceful farewell.

Understanding Taoist Funerals:

Taoist funerals revolve around the principle of filial piety, with a focus on helping the deceased repent and find pardon from deities, ensuring a smooth transition into the next life. In Singapore, Taoist funeral arrangements vary according to the dialect group of the family, each with its own unique customs and practices.

Taoism and the Cycles of Life and Death:

Before exploring the intricate details of Taoist funeral customs, it is crucial to understand how Taoists perceive death. Taoists embrace the concept of the Tao process, which encompasses the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. According to their beliefs, upon passing, individuals are escorted by the Heibai Wuchang to the ten courts of hell, where a judgment is passed based on their deeds in life. Understanding these beliefs forms the foundation for comprehending the symbolic rituals that follow.

Preparing for the Funeral Procession:

When preparing the deceased’s body, our funeral professionals follow meticulous steps to ensure a natural and presentable appearance. The individual is dressed in their most decent or favorite attire, carefully avoiding bright red clothing that is believed to invoke vengeful spirits. For those who have led a full life with many descendants, there is an option to dress them in special clothing called longevity suits (寿衣) or their preferred attire.

Attending a Taoist Funeral Wake in Singapore:

Taoist funeral processions typically last for an odd number of days, such as three, five, or seven, depending on the family’s preferences. Ordained Taoist priests conduct various chanting rituals during this time, seeking merits for the deceased, separating the deceased from the living, and seeking forgiveness from deities, among other rites.

Setting Up the Ceremonial Altar:

During the wake, a ceremonial altar is prepared, adorned with photographs of the deceased and various symbolic offerings. Food and fruit offerings, candles, lamps, tea, rice, and water hold deep meanings and are part of the rituals performed to ensure a smooth journey for the soul of the departed. Paper offerings and products, such as “hell notes,” houses, servants, cars, and even electronic gadgets, are burned as offerings for the deceased to use in the afterlife.

Taoist Ceremonial Service:

Taoist priests lead ceremonial services, chanting scriptures accompanied by traditional musical instruments. Rituals may include the breaking of tiles symbolizing levels of hell, signifying the emancipation of the deceased. The burning of paper offerings continues throughout the procession, providing comfort and resources for the deceased in the afterlife.

Etiquette, Attire, and Funeral Gifts:

Guests attending a Taoist funeral should dress respectfully in solemn and neutral colors, such as blue, black, or white. Family members may wear mourning pins or xiao (孝) on their shirt sleeves, and immediate family traditionally wear coarse burlap overcoats, hats, and slippers as a symbol of their grief. It is customary to offer condolence money in a plain white envelope or contribute to the funeral expenses. Flower wreaths adorned with chrysanthemums, lilies, daisies, and roses are also appreciated, thoughit is essential to consider the preferences of the bereaved family.

The Support of Last Journey Funeral Service:

While some individuals may choose to navigate funeral arrangements on their own, engaging the assistance of a funeral service provider can alleviate stress and allow for more time to grieve with loved ones. Our experienced funeral directors oversee all logistical details, offer emotional support, and ensure that the funeral adheres to Taoist customs and traditions. We provide an all-inclusive service, including arranging the wake, assigning Taoist priests, and handling Taoist religious funeral paraphernalia.

At Last Journey Funeral Service, we are dedicated to honoring the traditions and customs associated with different religions, including Taoism. Our commitment is to provide a compassionate and personalized service that respects the wishes of the deceased and their loved ones, ensuring a dignified and heartfelt final journey. When you entrust us with your loved one’s farewell, you can find solace in knowing that their traditions will be upheld with the utmost care and reverence.


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