1)    CONTACT THE TEMPLE

  • Upon contacting the Temple...
      The minister will respond to your request to offer comfort and Makura-gyo (bedside service).

  • Makura-gyo
      Makura-gyo is a short service held immediately following a death. However, its immediacy is dependent         
      upon such circumstances as gathering with the immediate family, location, surroundings, and time of night.
      In the event of a death in the early morning hours (ie: 2 a.m. or 4 a.m.), the bedside service may be held at a
      more convenient hour when relatives and close friends can attend.

  • Provide your contact information.
      Please provide your phone number with area code, address including zip code, location and directions to
      where the Makura-gyo service will be held.

2)  CONTACT THE FUNERAL HOME OR MORTUARY

  • Contact a funeral home or mortuary immediately to take care of the body. The choices of a funeral
    home or mortuary could be between a public or private company. It is the preference of the family.

3)  PREPARATION OF FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

  • The general practice at the Buddhist Temple of San Diego is to have the main family representative to
    set up an appointment to meet with the Minister and the Funeral Director. If the family wishes for a
    private service, meeting with the Minister “alone” is suggested. If the service will be public, the
    Funeral Director will contact members of the funeral committee to attend the meeting. It is suggested
    that the meeting be held at the Temple.

  • If the family representatives cannot come to the Temple, the Minister, alone, or the Minister and
    Funeral Director or committee, whichever the case may be, will gather at the home of the deceased
    to assist in preparation of the general arrangements of the funeral.

  • Decide on the funeral date with the Minister and Funeral Director or committee.

  • If the deceased has a Homyo (Buddhist name), present it to the Minister.

  • The “Record of Death,” which is required information for the Temple, will be filled out by the Minister.

  • The family may request to have the insertion of an obituary notice in the newspaper. For a notice in
    the San Diego Union-Tribune, the funeral home will make the arrangements. If a notice is submitted to
    other publications (ie: Rafu Shimpo/English and or Japanese section), the temple will assist the family
    with the submission. It is suggested to include the following information:

           I.     Name of survivors, immediate family members
           II.    Names of parents, brothers, sisters
           III.    Funeral arrangement details
           IV.   Brief biography of the deceased.
           V.    Public Service: In addition to the Temple Officials or committee,
                  there is a selection of the following:
         
Funeral Director
Will assistance the Minister and family during the funeral service. The director will give guidance whenever
necessary.

Chairperson
It is suggested that an individual close to the family serve as chairperson for the proceedings. If the family
does not have a person to serve in such capacity, they may ask the temple for suggestions.
The chairperson may be asked to include personal history of the deceased. Some families use personal
history in lieu of a Eulogy.

Pallbearers (six people)
Should be in place of a funeral 30 minutes prior to the service. It is suggested that pallbearers be strong
individual enable to carry the casket up the stairs.
Honorary pallbearers are suggested if the service does not involve a casket.

Koden (Monetary Offering) Receptionist committee
Depending on the number of attendees expected, three to six people are asked to receive and record the
monetary offering.
Receptionists will be asked to record all floral pieces received.
Koden sheets, to record offerings received, are supplied by the Temple.

Ushers
Two individuals will be asked to direct attendees to their seats. Please have one individual who is familiar
with family members so that they may be seated properly.

Guest Book
Two individuals will be asked to have attendees sign the guest book. The temple does not supply guest
books. The family will have to make arrangements to purchase one guest book with extra pages.

Eulogy Speaker (optional)
A close friend is asked to give words of sympathy or a eulogy on behalf of the family.

Correspondence
A person is asked to represent all of those who have sent telegrams or correspondence, in lieu of
attendance, and offer incense on their behalf. The person responsible can simply place the
correspondence on the incense table, or read a few of them.

Representatives
Friends of the deceased. Representatives of affiliated organizations the deceased was an active member
of will be asked to offer incense.

Word of Appreciation
A family member will be asked to give words of thanks in behalf of the bereaved family.

Music
If available, an organist will be provided at the family’s request.
If no organist is available or not necessary, recorded music will be used.


4)  COMPLETE ARRANGEMENTS WITH FUNERAL HOME/MORTUARY

The Director of the Funeral Home/Mortuary will offer information and arrange for:
  • Preparation of the body
  • Casket
  • Cremation or Burial

IMPORTANT: In case of cremation, make sure to ask the Funeral Home or Mortuary for a “Traditional
Japanese Style Cremation,” where there are some bones left intact instead of converting all into ashes.

  • Plot, urn, niche, headstone, etc.
  • Death certificates, be sure to order extra originals which may be needed for paperwork concerning:
             I.   Social security benefits
             II.  Insurance claims
             III. Obituary notices in local papers
             IV. If the deceased is not a naturalized citizen of the United States, copies must be submitted to
                  the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles within seven (7) days.  Please contact the Japanese
                  Consulate for more information (213) 617-6700.
  • Use the FUNERAL SERVICE form (attachment) for information required by the Funeral Home or
    Mortuary. Make sure that all information give is accurate and as detailed as possible.
  • Printing of a Funeral Service Porgram (optional). The funeral Home or Mortuary may provide a simple
    program as part of the services. The family may produce their own service program. A sample of the
    service program format is provided in this guide.

5)  THINGS TO TAKE TO THE FUNERAL HOME OR MORTUARY     

  • Ojuzu, nenju (prayer beads)
  • Okesa, if deceased has one
  • Personal clothing and belongings
  • If the Funeral Home or Mortuary is providing a service program, a list of persons selected for the public
    service (in addition to the Temple Officials or committed) to be printed in the Funeral Program.

6)  FLOWERS TO ORDER

(Please note you are free to use any florist you wish).
  • Four altar arrangements (Two large for the front and two small for the back).
  • White carnations for pallbearers (or honorary pallbearers)
  • Casket spray or two arrangements for the table for an Urn Service.
  • Flowers around the picture
  • Family floral pieces.
Conatct:  Keidan Florist

7)  THINGS TO BRING TO THE TEMPLE PRIOR TO THE FUNERAL

  • Homyo (Buddhist Name) if deceased has one.
  • Osonae (Altar offering) 32 manju  (Japanese sweet cakes), 16 fruits (quantity may vary).
  • Framed 8 x 10 picture, black ribbon or flower arrangement around the frame.

8)  TYPICAL SERVICE PROGRAM FOR THE FUNERAL SERVICE

(Note: Printing and distribution of programs is optional. Please check attachment for complete
sample. A floppy or CD Rom disk of the sample program is available for reproduction.)
    
          - Tolling of the Bell
          - Processional
          - Sutra (Teaching of the Buddha) chanting........................................Minister
                - Presentation of Buddhist Name
               - Sutra chanting.....................................................................................Minister
               - Incense offering (during Sutra chanting):.........................................Family, Relatives, Pallbearers
               - Opening Remarks and Personal History............................................Chairperson
               - Incense Offering..................................................................................Representative(s)
                                             ..................................................................................Friends and Organizations
          - Eulogy (If not part of the Personal History)........................................Close Friend
          - Telegrams, correspondence offering
          - Gatha (Hymm)....................................................................................Sangha
            (Suggested Gathas: Mihotoke Ni Idakarete, Nadame, or gatha suggested by family and agreed upon
             by Minister)
                - Sermon.................................................................................................Minister
               - Reading of the Epistle........................................................................Minister
               - Words of Aprreciation.........................................................................Family Member
               - Closing Remarks..................................................................................Chairperson
               - Incense Offering..................................................................................Sangha
                 (It is the preference of the family when they wish to have incense offering occur)
          - Recessional

9)  OTOKI OR REFRESHMENTS

Refreshments may be served in the Annex Hall following the service. If service is performed at the Buddhist
Temple of San Diego, in general, otoki consists of light refreshments such as tea, coffee, cold drinks, senbei
(rice crackers), manju (Japanese cakes), cookies, etc. During funeral preparations the family may request
for ototki but must make its own arrangements. Responsibilities include:
  • Setup tables and chairs in Annex Hall.
  • Purchase of refreshments
  • Persons to help serve refreshments
  • Clean up of Annex Hall

10) OTHER INFORMATION

  • Correspondence: In most cases, the deceased was a member of the Buddhist Temple of San Diego.
    The family will be asked if they wish to continue receiving the monthly temple newsletter “Bussei
    Script.” The newsletter contains information on memorials for loved ones, specific times of the year
    when memorial services should be observed, and other Temple news.
  • The Temple will contact the primary family member as to when the Hatsubon service will take place.