In Buddhism, death is only the beginning. Buddhists believe that death is not final and is simply a part of the cycle of reincarnation, referred to as the cycle of death and rebirth. And the cycle of death and rebirth is linked to the karma theory, that a Buddhist’s actions in life will affect future incarnations.
This belief is quite an essential and comforting principle, helping the family and friends of the deceased to have a peaceful closure.
Why choose a Buddhist funeral service?
Having a proper funeral farewell service demonstrates the final genuine act of love the bereaved family can shower upon the deceased. And a Buddhist funeral service is chosen for the purpose of creating a good karma and merits for the deceased, in the hope that the deceased will reincarnate smoothly into the next life with happier and more fulfilled life experience. Therefore, Buddhist funeral services are performed for the benefit of the deceased and the bereaved family.
Types of Buddhist Funeral Services in Singapore
The three major forms of Buddhist funeral services commonly performed in Singapore includes The Mahayana, The Theravada and The Vajrayana.
Although they each have distinctive memorial rituals and practices, all three share one core belief in the “Samsara” (the repetitive cycle of death and rebirth, and karma).
The Mahayana tradition of Buddhism believes that there is an important intermediate period between death and rebirth that will affect the reincarnation conditions. Proper funeral ceremonies and prayers will enable the deceased a smooth transition and auspicious rebirth. The monks will be chanting the “Amitabha Sutra” religious scripture at a Mahayana funeral service.
The Theravada tradition of Buddhism believes that death is immediate, and the conditions of the rebirth would be determined on the karma and merits done while the deceased was still alive.
The monks will be chanting the “Abhidhamma Sutra” religious scripture at a Theravada funeral service and there will be an offering of cloth to the monks on behalf of the deceased. The cloth (known as the “forsaken robe”) are representations of the shrouds the monks used as their robes during the time of Guatama Buddha (known as the Buddha, the founder of Buddhism religion).
At a Vajrayana funeral service, prayers, mantras, and the Buddha’s name will be chanted. The Bardo Thodol (know as the “Tibetan Book of the Dead”) will also be read to the deceased so that the deceased may be guided and be freed from the cycle of the “Samsara.”
Common Buddhist Funeral Customs to be aware of in Singapore
Preparation and arrangement for the body
As Buddhist believes that it will take some time for the soul of the deceased to leave the body, therefore the body is to be left untouched and undisturbed in any way when death occurs.
After which the body will be washed, cleansed, and dressed in plain clothes.
The final viewing
Some families may choose to hold a wake for the deceased prior to the funeral. At the wake, the body of the deceased, cleansed and dressed in plain clothes, will be placed in a simple casket situated in respectful position for viewing.
A wake is usually held over odd number of days, not exceeding seven (7) days after death (e.g. three (3) days or five (5) days). An altar is set up to display the deceased’s portrait and an image of the Buddha is place at the front of the altar together with offerings of candles, incense, flowers, and fruit.
Monks and family members of the deceased will be at the wake chanting prayers and mantras and performing religious rituals. Mourners will be attending the wake to offer their respect and condolences to the bereaved family.
The appropriate attire
At a Buddhist funeral, family members of the deceased will be dressed and clothed in white along with armband or headband. It is only appropriate to be dressed conservatively, simply, and avoid drawing unnecessary attention or any display of wealth when attending the wake.
Do Buddhist bury or cremate the dead?
Buddhist may choose either burial or cremation depending on their beliefs and preferences.
There is an increase in the preference for cremation as burial ground is limited due to the scarcity of land in Singapore. Burial sites can only last for a maximum of fifteen (15) years according to the burial policy in Singapore and the remains are exhumed and cremated after fifteen (15) years unless forbidden by religious reasons. Urn must be selected other than the coffin and sea burial options could be requested by the bereaved family should the deceased be cremated.
A list of items for a Buddhist funeral arrangement is also available on our website at https://www.funeralservicessingapore.com.sg/buddhist-funeral-singapore/
Cost and Package for a Buddhist Funeral Service in Singapore
At Ang Brothers Funeral Services, we take immense pride in offering a professional, caring and sincere service to you 24/7 in the event of your beloved demise. Our commitment to ensuring a proper organisation of Buddhists funeral rites has made us stand tall with very few competitors.
We provide a range of comprehensive arrangements for Buddhist funeral services. Our Buddhist Funeral Package starts from SGD 5,500 for a three-day funeral service, and SGD 6,500 for a five-day funeral service.
Our affordable Buddhist funeral packages include all the essential general needs and requirements to hold a Chinese Buddhist funeral service in Singapore, including providing the ceremonial items and white t-shirts in the funeral ceremony.
Details and a complete breakdown on our comprehensive packages are available on our website at
We are readily available to take your call at any time of the day at our 24 hour hotline +65 9871 8388. In addition, you can choose to drop us an email using the Contact Form on our site.