• Understanding the Purpose of a Columbarium

    If you or a loved one is considering cremation, you should consider columbariums. Planning ahead can help ensure that your funeral services are executed properly. Watch this video if you are interested in understanding the purpose of a columbarium.

    Although cremation is a completely separate option from a standard funeral and burial, the two alternatives share a few similarities. If you opt for cremation, your ashes will likely be stored in an urn. This urn may reside in a columbarium, which is a place where people can memorialize their lost loved ones. In this way, a columbarium is much like a traditional gravesite. Friends and family members can leave flowers, heirlooms, and other memorial items that remind them of the departed.

    Learn more about cremation services available near Oakland by contacting Chapel of the Chimes Oakland. Call us at (510) 654-0123 to get answers to your questions about cremation services and funeral planning.

  • 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.