For some people, the passing of a loved one signifies so many negative connotations. All of the memories created and the experiences shared have finally come to an end. When this sad moment arrives, a funeral ceremony is a requirement that needs to be undertaken. For some people, they would go for a Buddhist funeral ceremony to commemorate the memory of their dearly departed. On the other hand, there are other people who would prefer a Soka funeral ceremony for their loved ones.
What is a Soka Funeral Ceremony all about?
Basically, a Soka funeral service is a simplified variation of a Buddhist ceremony from Japan. All of the complex rituals have been eliminated and replaced by modernized customs. A lot of people adhering to Soka Gakkai believe the teachings of Buddha revolve around the idea of living well and pursuing enlightenment. This is opposed to the pursuit of riches and material belongings. As such, a Soka funeral ceremony does away from the formal rituals done in Buddhist services.
What makes this funeral service distinct?
Since the atmosphere of a Soka funeral ceremony is a simple and somber one, you can expect an experience like no other. People in this kind of funeral service pray for the enlightenment of the dearly departed while offering sympathy to his or her loved ones. This particular funeral ceremony highlights the sharing of grief from those who are left behind as support is also spread at the same time. As a result, Soka funeral ceremonies are very peaceful and tranquil when you compare it to other variations of Buddhism-centric funerals.
How is a Soka Funeral Ceremony set?
A Soka funeral ceremony is led by a Soka Gakkai leader rather than a priest during a Buddhist service. The aforementioned leader conducts a Sutra recital by chanting it. Other Soka members then join the leader during this chanting for the dearly departed. This is done because a Soka leader can sincerely perform the chants without any formality or pretension by someone inexperienced in this field.
Members of Soka Gakkai also adhere to the belief that the rituals or sermons performed will not aid the deceased. Rather, these members believe that enlightenment brought upon by the sincere Sutra recital and Daimoku chanting will aid the person who has passed on. As such, it is very important for the Soka leader and members to be wholehearted as they perform these rituals.
Another element that makes Soka funeral services distinct is the usage of the deceased person’s secular name. This is because members of Soka Gakkai do not believe in the usage of kaimyo Buddhist names when a person passes away.
Although the main principles being practiced during a Soka Funeral Ceremony are minimalism and modernism, the end goal of helping its deceased members attain enlightenment has always been the same. This is accomplished because of the strong sense of faith of Soka Gakkai’s members in their beliefs and how they pass it on to their dearly departed during a funeral service.