Hindu Funeral & Cremation

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The Hindu religion teaches that when someone dies, the soul passes into another body. Their belief in reincarnation provides the foundation for Hindu funeral traditions. In Hinduism, death applies only to the body, there is no death of the soul.

According to Hindu customs, the body remains at home until it is cremated, which usually takes place within 24 hours after death. The ashes are then scattered at a sacred body of water or at some other place of importance.

Our Hindu Service with Cremation Includes:
  • Professional Services
  • Transfer of Your Loved One to Our Care
  • Dressing, Care, and Preparation (no embalming)
  • Ceremonial Flower Petals
  • Funeral (in our Chapel) or Crematory
  • Wood or Cardboard Cremation Casket
  • Witness Cremation at our Crematory

The Three Traditions of a Hindu Funeral 

The Wake/Funeral

A Hindu funeral takes place within one to two days after the death. No gifts or flowers should be brought to the funeral. Flowers may be brought or sent ahead of time. 

Hindu funeral rites take the form of chants that are specially written for funerals. The officiant is a Hindu priest, leading the family and mourners in death rituals.

hindu wake funeral
hindu cremation

Hindu Cremation Ceremony

At the cremation ceremony, the eldest son typically presides. Cremation Ceremonies vary but they often include:

  • Prayers
  • Singing
  • Rice Balls or Flowers placed around the body

After the cremation, there may also be a reception at the family’s home. 

Shraddha Ceremony

The Shraddha Ceremony is a Hindu Ceremony to help souls enter the next world after death. For Hindus, it must happen to ensure that the souls of their loved ones who have died will enter the next world safely. 

During a Shraddha ceremony, feasts and gift-giving gatherings occur. The most common gifts tend to be metal vessels and money. Shraddhas can last anywhere from one day to several weeks.

What are the Participation Expectations?

Guests to a Hindu funeral should view the body, quietly and without touching it. Then offer condolences to the family. Non-Hindus are expected to sit quietly during the ceremony if they do not wish to participate in the chanting. They are welcome to participate in the rituals if they would like but there is absolutely no pressure to. 

Some may also attend the cremation ceremony. Non-Hindus do not participate in the ceremony. 

The Hindu mourning period typically lasts 10 days. It is appropriate to wait to visit the family after that period has ended. This is the time to bring gifts of fruit. 

What Should be Worn to a Hindu Funeral

At the service, mourners dress casually. Mourners should not wear black. It is customary for guests to wear white. No head covering is required for men nor women. Women should keep their arms and knees covered and dress conservatively. Open toe shoes and minimal jewelry are acceptable. 

Plan Ahead Today

Pre-planning the funeral experience for your loved ones provides you with time to make end-of-life decisions in a calm and rational atmosphere. Start the online planning process now, or meet with one of our pre-planning advisors.

Choosing a Raleigh Funeral Home

While it is not mandatory to hire a funeral director, a professional makes the process much easier.

Most families choose to use a funeral home because of the standard of care and the regulations around the handling of the deceased.

It is important to choose a funeral home that will listen to your wishes and work with you to make sure what you want is carried out.

Funeral homes can work with different budgets and add special touches to personalize the funeral.