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A person with religion may wish to have his funeral service conducted according to the religious rituals as dictated by his faith. Family members may contact the religious communities concerned and make funerary arrangements through a licensed undertaker. 
The following introductions of religious funerary rites are only for reference. All religious rites are not the same, and it is advisable to consult the religious communities directly.
  • In Christianity, funeral rites are called Sabbath rites, which are mainly targeted at the living so that bereaved families can be comforted.    In the funeral service, the virtues of the deceased are extolled and remembered. 
  • Generally, when a Christian passes away, his family has to obtain a "Death registration certificate" first before discussing detailed arrangements of the Sabbath rites with the priest and the funeral parlour.
  • Christian Sabbath is organized and run by individual churches. Each church has its own policy. Some churches may stipulate that the deceased only need to attend church meetings regularly during his lifetime while some churches will host a memorial Sabbath for someone who is a relative or friend of its church members   In such cases, whether the deceased has been baptized is not an issue. However the deceased need to have expressed the wish to follow the teachings of Christianity and to believe in God before he passes away.
  • It should be noted that baptism, although not necessarily a consideration for arranging Sabbath rites, is nevertheless a condition for the application of interment in a Christian cemetery.
  • The Christian Sabbath is not only a ritual, but also a consolation and hope for the relatives and friends. The Church considers this to be its own "family affair" and if the Church does not know the deceased well,  it may be difficult to console and show concern to his relatives and friends. Therefore the Church does not have any centralised  contact channels for such arrangements.  Relatives of the deceased are encouraged to contact each church individually to make arrangements.
  • During the encoffining ceremony, all family members will stay with the deceased, praying, singing and reciting scriptures under the guidance of priests and preachers.
  • The Sabbath worship usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, including praying, offering poems, giving memorial speeches, consolation and blessings, and finally, paying last respects to the deceased. 

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  • Inform promptly the Parish Priest of the deceased for arrangement of bereavement. Bereavement Ministry Groups are set up in parishes under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong to offer free assistance to parishioners seeking help in organizing funeral and burial services for their deceased family members.
  • Please note that only Catholics could be buried in a Catholic Cemetery. Catechumens who have received the Catholic Rite of Becoming Catechumens (Catechumens) may be buried in a Catholic Cemetery.  However a person who has not received any catechetical instructions, even though he or she had been or was baptized at the moment of death or when unconscious, could not be buried in a Catholic Cemetery.
  • A Burial Permit in the Catholic Cemetery (“Burial Permit”) must first be obtained before the deceased is permitted to be buried in a Catholic Cemetery.
  • The “Burial Permit” could only be issued by the Parish Priest, Assistant Parish Priest or Permanent Deacon of the Parish (Parish Clergy) of the deceased upon production of a Certificate of Baptism or Catechumen. “Burial Permit” must bear the signature of the authorizing person and the official seal. When a “Burial Permit” is issued, the Certificate of Baptism of the deceased, if produced, is to be retained by the said Parish Clergy.
  • Parish Clergy may only issue a “Burial Permit” to a Catholic or a Catechumen who, at the time of death or admission to hospital, resided in their Parish.
  • The Parish Clergy of the deceased should notify the parish where the deceased was baptized by forwarding to the latter either the Certificate of Baptism of the deceased or a Notification of Death form.
  • Funeral rituals include: wake prayers with church members singing chants and sharing faith; an last funeral rites including: greeting, praying, reading scriptures, singing, sprinkling holy water, frankincense and so on. After paying last tribute to the deceased, the congregation will follow the Priest who will be leading the casket out.
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  • Those who have been converted to Buddhism, or those disciples who have not yet been converted, may instruct their relatives to hold the funerals according to Buddhist rituals. Buddhists who attend regularly activities of the dojo may also entrust the funeral arrangements to the monks or heads of their dojo.  
  • Relatives may also contact a licensed undertaker to assist in making arrangements for a Buddhist funeral.
  • Generally speaking, the Buddhist ceremony is divided into two parts.  On the first day of the vigil, usually around 5 – 7 pm (to be discussed with and decided by the Dojo) the monks  will preside over the " Thrice Memorial Ceremony” and read Buddhist scriptures. The ceremonial rites usually start from the evening of the first day until nightfall, during these hours relatives and other Buddhist disciples can come to pay last respects or participate in the reading of scriptures
  • The second part is the “coffin-closing" ceremony, which starts on the second day. The monks will read scriptures and preside over the closing of the coffin.

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Taoist rites are performed by Taoist monks. relatives may also contact a licensed undertaker to assist in the arrangements of the funeral.
This traditional ritual includes the following:
  • During the vigil, taoist monks will ceremonially lead the way, invoke water power so as to bring in wealth, and write funeral oration on white cloth. These first rites signify that the spirit of the deceased is already in the Underworld. Taoist monks will create a passage for the spirit to return to the human world and into the funeral parlour so that he can receive the blessings and worship of his family.  The reading of the scriptures by the monks is to ensure that the spirit will rest in peace.     In invoking water power, the monks will also lead the relatives in walking around the coffin,  which signifies that good luck and wealth on the later generations. Writing funeral orations on white cloth expresses the deep sadness of the sons and daughters and their memories of the deceased. The water-buying ritual performed by them expresses their filial piety, in the symbolic gesture of washing the face of the deceased for the last time. 
  • The major funereal rites of Taoism generally include "breaking away from hell ", “passing over the gold and silver bridge", "sitting lotus", etc.
  • The Taoist monks will perform rites at the crematorium to ensure that the inurnment or the burial ground is auspicious so that the cremation/the burial will bring peace to the dead and prosperity to the posterity.
  •  After the funeral, the memorial tablet or portrait of the deceased will be placed at home by the Taoist monk in an appropriate location for familial worship. 

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