Throughout the funeral wake, prayers are held for the deceased. In Buddhist funeral, Buddhist monks will conduct the prayers. For those who are members of Buddhist temples, the relatives may invite the Temple members to perform the prayers as well. These members are usually dr essed in black robes and led by lay monks instead of Buddhist monks. In addition to this, the relatives may also invite a religious organisation “Siang Tong” 善堂 to chant the final prayer on the eve of the funeral. The prayer is to pray for a smooth journey to the nether world. The priest and his group will sing prayers asking for the protection and blessing of the Gods, sing praises of the deceased and ask for guidance for the deceased. Even the address of the deceased is mentioned!
|The Priest saying their Sing Song prayer|
|Relatives of the deceased participating in the ritual|
Crossing the bridge. This symbolise the journey of the deceased and the sending off by the relatives. Note the “back pack” on the back of one of the mourner. This is something that has caught up with the time. It the past, the mourner simply carry it in their hand. The mourners throw money into a basin when they cross the bridge. The money are meant to serve as bribe to other spirits so that they do not block the journey of the deceased.
Together with the mansion is a maid and a manservant. After all, with a house so big, definitely need somebody to take care right?
All these are burnt in a big bonfire while the priest continues to chant.