510.654.0123 FD #: 1254
Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland is one of California's most beautiful historic buildings. We are a Crematory, Columbarium, and one of the top cremation service providers in Northern California.

A Look at Buddhist Funeral Traditions

The Buddhist way of life teaches that death is a natural part of the life cycle and that it is necessary for a person who is dying to mentally prepare for the next incarnation. The Buddha did not leave specific instructions for preferred funeral services and so Buddhist funeral traditions can be flexible. However, there are some traditions that Buddhist families will generally follow after a death and at the funeral home.


Buddhist families prefer that the dying process take place in a calm, peaceful setting. When the individual dies, family members are expected to cleanse the body. The decedent is dressed in everyday clothes, rather than garments for special occasions. Some Buddhist families prefer that the body be left in place for at least four hours before being moved to a funeral home. However, if the decedent wanted to donate his or her corneas or organs, then the proper authorities should be notified shortly after the death. Some Buddhist families prefer to avoid embalming when local regulations will permit this.


If a visitation or wake will be held, it is appropriate for the family to choose a simple casket and to arrange the altar with candles, incense, and other offerings. The decedent’s portrait and an image of the Buddha may be displayed.


The family may choose to have a teacher or other member of the Buddhist community perform chants. If this is not possible, then the family may perform chants or set up an audio recording of chanting. The chants should be focused on life’s impermanence and the transference of merit. It is traditional, though not required, for a Buddhist to be cremated. Cremation services follow the precedent established by the Buddha. However, some families may prefer burial. During all of the services, it is expected that the family and other mourners wear white. Head coverings should be removed during chanting or other rites.

At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, your family will find compassionate and culturally sensitive funeral services in Oakland. Our funeral home works closely with each family to ensure that the funeral or cremation services are an appropriately personalized celebration of life. Call (510) 654-0123 to speak with a funeral director.

We Honor Our Fallen Heores

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our city of #Dallas, the law enforcement community, DART, and those impacted by this tragedy.

You may use our online tribute page to send your thoughts to fallen officer's families. You can also comment on this Facebook thread or come into our funeral home and sign a dedicated registry book. Your comments will be packaged up and sent to the families of the fallen officers.

For more information, visit us online.

Getting Ready for a Funeral

When you are preparing to go to a funeral home for a visitation or to attend funeral services at a place of worship, it’s important to present a respectful, solemn appearance. Men and ladies should choose conservative, dark clothing, although it is not strictly necessary to wear all black. For ladies, it’s a good idea to use neutral makeup that isn’t too bold.

You can hear some helpful makeup tips by watching this video. This stylist recommends choosing shades of light brown or taupe for eyeshadow. She also recommends applying a light layer of waterproof mascara and a neutral lip gloss.

When you’re getting ready to attend funeral services in Oakland, remember to select an elegant floral arrangement to send to the funeral home or bring to the family’s home afterward. Chapel of the Chimes Oakland offers beautiful baskets, sprays, and dish gardens at our online store. Call (510) 654-0123 for assistance.

What to Include in a Eulogy

Before departing the funeral home to go to the memorial park, it is likely that one or more mourners will give a eulogy in the decedent’s honor. If you have been asked to give a eulogy, it’s best to be prepared with an outline of your thoughts. Eulogies do not need to encompass the entirety of the person’s life. Rather, they are brief discussions of one or two important aspects of the individual’s life. If you are not a family member, you might discuss how you first met the decedent and the way in which he or she touched your life. If you are a family member, consider talking about the special bond that you and the decedent shared.

When preparing your eulogy, try to identify one or two characteristics of the decedent to focus on. You might discuss the decedent’s tireless work with local charities, for example, or his or her devotion to family. It is acceptable to include a humorous story about the decedent if you feel the story is appropriate.

For more than 100 years, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland has been serving our community by providing respectful funeral pre-planning services, cremation services, and burial at our serene memorial park in Oakland. Call a funeral director at (510) 654-0123 and let us know how we can assist your family.

How to Help a Loved One Grieve

Long after the funeral and cremation services, individuals who are bereaved often have trouble finding ways of moving forward. As a friend or family member of a mourner, you might be unsure of how to help your loved one during this difficult time. Since grief is personal and no two people will respond in the same way, it’s best to let your loved one be your guide when you’re trying to provide grief support.

What Not to Say

There are many appropriate things you could say to a mourner, but it’s equally as important to know what not to say. It’s usually best to avoid platitudes such as “He or she is in a better place” and “I know how you feel.” As a general rule of thumb, avoid voicing your own religious beliefs unless they are solicited and avoid making statements that begin with “You should” or “You will.” It’s also best to avoid trying to cheer up a mourner; grief is a healthy, natural response to loss and your loved one needs time to work through it without feeling rushed.

What to Say

When talking about the loss with your loved one, it’s important to acknowledge his or her feelings. Be genuine in offering your condolences. You might say, for instance, “I’m sorry that you’re going through this.” You could also tell your loved one that you’re not sure exactly what you should say, but that you want your loved one to know that you care. It isn’t necessary to talk the entire time you’re visiting with your loved one. Often, sitting in silence is comforting.

What to Do

After a loss, bereaved family members may have problems functioning and thinking clearly. You could extend an open-ended offer of your assistance, but your loved one might not know how to accept your offer. Instead, offer to do specific tasks or errands, such as shopping for groceries, providing childcare, or locating a reputable estate lawyer.

At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, you’ll find an array of compassionate grief support services. We are a funeral home and memorial park in Oakland that has been providing loving service to our neighbors for more than 100 years. Visit us online to access our grief support services or call (510) 654-0123.

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