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Taoist Worship Ceremony

Taoism:

Taoism is one of the three main religions in ancient China founded by Lao Zi in the late Warring States Period (770BC to 221BC) with over 2,600 years of history.

A grand Taoist worship ceremony is led by Taoist priests who practice Taoism to worship and pay respect to the three highest Ching Tianzuns (“上清、太清、玉清天尊”) as well as their two guardian gods (“文殊菩 薩”, “普賢菩薩”).
There are two types of Taoist worship ceremonies namely “齋” and “醮” which are closely connected.
In general, the “齋” Taoist worship ceremony emphasises on sanitising the body, heart and speech to bring harmony whereas the “醮” Taoist worship ceremony follows a range of Taoism worship procedures. These worship ceremonies may involve 6, 9 or 13 Taoist priests paying respect through meritorious deeds for all living souls.

Taoism regards that a human soul comprises 7 parts which will diminish gradually every other 7 days after death in a total of 49 days.

The practice of Taoism believes that it can help reinforce these parts.

Reincarnation will determine each soul entering 6 different states in the next lives, the ghost state and animal state of which will require specific reinforcement by Taoist worship ceremony.

Taoism believes that if a person dies in an accident or whose life ends unnaturally, specific reinforcement will also be required by Taoist worship ceremony.

Taoist worship ceremony:

A Taoist worship ceremony usually involves Taoist priests worshipping the three highest Ching Tianzuns the day before funeral takes place to alleviate the sins of the deceased and help him/her ascend to heaven.

Taoist worship ceremony

Based on an ancient legend that Mulian saved the soul of his mother in the underworld by way of enlightenment from Buddha, there is a special type of Taoist worship ceremony arranged by 4 to 6 Taoist priests mimicking the legendary acts of Mulian with a view to alleviating the soul of the deceased from the underworld.

 

Traditional ceremony

In Chinese funeral, the eldest son or grandson will hold a funeral staff ( 擔幡) leading the deceased to ascend to heaven and practice a sanitising ceremony (買水) resembling the cleansing of the body of the dead.

For Canton-Chinese, all funeral-related items should be purchased by the bereaved family with no gifts allowed.

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