Attending a funeral is a sombre experience as it is an intimate affair for the grieving family and the ones invited to attend. If you are invited to attend a Chinese Christian funeral in Singapore, it simply means that you are regarded as a close family member or friend of the deceased.
For such an occasion, you should be aware of the traditions and norms of the particular community because you surely would not want to show any kind of disrespect and offend the family by doing something you shouldn’t do due to lack of awareness.
In Singapore, Chinese Christian is one of the largest communities with distinct beliefs and funeral rituals. So, if you are not a Chinese Christian and have to visit a funeral, here are the do’s and don’ts of attending a Chinese Christian funeral ceremony.
- Wear Suitable Attire
It is highly recommended to avoid bright and cheerful colours like red, yellow, orange etc. Neutral, dull and dark colours are best to wear, including black, white, grey or navy blue. It is also necessary that the dress should be simple, free of any design and embellishment.
- It is Not Appropriate to Remove the Bible from the Altar
Generally, an open bible is placed on the altar table in front of the coffin instead of a joss-stick holder. The bible does not belong to the deceased so try not to touch or remove the bible from the altar.
- Do Not Leave Once the Service Starts
This can happen; you may have an emergency to go to while attending the Chinese Christian funeral ceremony, but it would be considered highly disrespectful if you leave the funeral service midway. So, make sure that you inform one of the deceased’s family members about your leaving, as well as it would be tolerable if you depart before the service starts.
- It’s Ok to Ask How the Deceased Passed Away
A funeral is such a sorrowful occasion that makes you feel awkward and at a loss when it comes to starting conversation.
For this, if you are sitting with a family member of the deceased, it is acceptable to ask about how they had passed away but if the deceased had died under suspicious circumstances, refrain from doing such a thing as it will sound extremely rude and inconvenient.
- Condolence Bequest
It is appropriate and common to give condolence bequest to deceased family in a white envelope in Chinese culture. This donation is called ‘pek kim’ in the Chinese language, and the best time to hand it over is when a family member goes to fetch your drink.
The amount should not be less than 101 Chinese Yuan. The maximum amount is not fixed, it purely depends on your affordability, but the amount in the envelope should be in odd numbers.
The Final Words
Being prepared and having proper knowledge before attending any Chinese Christian funeral in Singapore is necessary. The information mentioned above will work as a guideline to you if you have to attend one.
Divine Casket Singapore was established in 2004 by the late Silvester, one of the first few embalmers in Singapore. Through his dedication to the craft of embalming, he sought to provide the best for the deceased, emphasizing respect for those who have passed and remembering those who have been left behind. His craftsmanship has earned much praise and compliment throughout the 1990s from grateful clients.