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1/28/2012 BAHA’I BURIAL PROCESS. ON BAHA’I BURIALS “The greatest gift a human being can make to God is a life lived in the knowledge and the worship of.

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Presentation on theme: "1/28/2012 BAHA’I BURIAL PROCESS. ON BAHA’I BURIALS “The greatest gift a human being can make to God is a life lived in the knowledge and the worship of."— Presentation transcript:

1 1/28/2012 BAHA’I BURIAL PROCESS

2 ON BAHA’I BURIALS “The greatest gift a human being can make to God is a life lived in the knowledge and the worship of God. In fact, one's life is the most creative endeavor one undertakes. When a soul who has lived an exemplary life departs from this plane of existence, his or her passing becomes an instrument of education to other souls. The manner in which one plans for the distribution of one's belongings, the manner in which one's funeral and burial reflect one's commitment to God, the beauty with which one's grave is maintained; all of these become a further reflection of the nobility of a life well lived.” (Radpour)

3 REFLECTIONS ON DEATH O SON OF THE SUPREME! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom? O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.

4 REFLECTIONS ON DEATH Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving-kindness and bounty."

5 REFLECTIONS ON DEATH "To consider that after the death of the body the spirit perishes, is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if the cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage. Our body is like the cage, and the spirit is like the bird? if the cage becomes broken, the bird will continue and exist. Its feelings will be even more powerful, its perceptions greater, and its happiness increased. In truth, from hell it reaches a paradise of delights because for the thankful birds there is no paradise greater than freedom from the cage.”

6 REFLECTIONS ON DEATH "The rewards of the other world are peace, the spiritual graces, the various spiritual gifts in the Kingdom of God, the gaining of the desires of the heart and soul, and the meeting of God in the world of eternity."

7 BURIAL BASICS Funeral and internment arrangements are the responsibility of believer/family Assembly is there to assist, if needed Assembly must educate community: The importance of a will Basic requirements currently in place worldwide Our connection with the departed Additional requirements for the future (optional) Odds and Ends Planning Recommendations

8 ALL BAHA’IS MUST HAVE A WILL “Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will.” Kitab-i-Aqdas All Baha’is must have a will Make sure will is clear and updated Make sure family is informed of Baha'i burial process Baha'i membership card stipulation

9 I. CURRENT REQUIREMENTS 1.No cremation 2.Transport from place of death to place of burial should not be more than 1 hour 3.Prayer for the Dead to be recited (for those over 15) 4.Funeral be simple and dignified

10 CURRENT REQUIREMENTS - DETAILS 1.No cremation  Body is formed gradually, must decompose gradually  Body to return to the earth  Requirement applies to all, even fetus  Make sure relatives are informed  Make sure wishes are clear  Assembly cannot enforce cremation wishes

11 CURRENT REQUIREMENTS - DETAILS 2. Transport from place of death to place of burial should not be more than 1 hour Method of transportation is not specified Principle is most important “the sooner the burial taketh place, the more fitting and preferable” Embalming to be avoided, if law allows Not required in most states – habit vs. law Refrigeration

12 CURRENT REQUIREMENTS - DETAILS 3. Prayer for the Dead to be recited Only for those over 15 Congregational prayer Recited by one believer All others stand Only prayer adjusted for gender General portion Allah-u-Abha Verse x 19 Repeat with other verses

13 CURRENT REQUIREMENTS - DETAILS 4. Funeral should be simple and dignified  Only requirement is prayer for the dead  Additional prayers can be used  Ritual should be avoided  Baha'i service should be distinguished from other customs  May hold memorial gatherings, if desired  Funeral and memorial gathering can be separate  “The Baha'i service is a dignified yet joyful event, honoring the promotion of a soul to its next realm of existence, and as such can educate others and bring comfort to their hearts”  If you are responsible for the burial of a non- Baha’i, wishes of diseased and unity of family are essential

14 II. OUR CONNECTION WITH THE DEPARTED "As for thy question whether the souls will recognise each other in the spiritual world: This fact is certain; for the Kingdom is the world of vision where all concealed realities will become disclosed." "Likewise a love that one may have entertained for anyone will not be forgotten in the world of the Kingdom, nor wilt thou forget there the life thou hadst in the material world." Prayers for the departed “Gifts and good deeds done in memory of those who have passed on, are most helpful to the development of their souls in the realms beyond…”

15 III. REQUIREMENTS NOT CURRENTLY BINDING WORLDWIDE Body preparation To be washed and wrapped in silk or cotton shroud one or five sheets 7 yards wrapped around the body in one piece, or use different pieces for the feet and legs, trunk, shoulders, and head, with the additional piece wrapped the length of the body to hold the other pieces in place not necessary to cover the face, but the shroud may be wrapped over the top of the head, as with a shawl Can be done by family or funeral home Instructions in guide Baha'i burial ring to be placed on finger For adults only “I came forth from God and return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His name, the Merciful, the Compassionate” No specific finger – forefinger customary Coffin of crystal, stone, or fine hard wood Grave: If possible, have body or head positioned to Qiblih Baha'i cemeteries Problems with advanced purchasing Separate markers for individuals Marker can use “Baha'i” but not the Greatest Name or ring stone symbol Marker can use 9-pointed star

16 IV. OTHER DETAILS Donation of organs or body is permitted Ensure that dignified burial of remains takes place Check on disposal process and consent forms Choices about Moment and Method of Death: Suicide is prohibited for Baha’is Euthanasia Baha’is are required to abide by the law of the land Universal House of Justice to legislate on this matter in the future Medical Intervention: Emergency and other medical personnel often attempt to avoid death at all costs If you do NOT want this, please inform your family/friends in clear terms AND put this into writing – living will or other forms al_services/14138/out-of-hospital_do-not- resuscitate_%28dnr%29_orders/ al_services/14138/out-of-hospital_do-not- resuscitate_%28dnr%29_orders/ Areas to be covered include: Application of life support/Removal of life support/DoNotResuscitate-DoNotAttemptRescuscitation/AllowNaturalDeath and more (health proxy, power of attorney, etc.)  From Baha'i perspective, this decision is entirely left to the individual

17 V. PLANNING FOR BURIAL The importance of planning Reduces the burden on family Ensures Baha'i law is followed Preserves unity in the family and the community Tool: My Final Wishes Pre-Planning Burial Guide Download from Forlora (see resources)

18 RESOURCES Baha'i Burial compilation library.com/?file=compilation_bahai_burialhttp://bahai- library.com/?file=compilation_bahai_burial Forlora at Links to a $9.95 download for the pre-planner Other useful links on supplies, grief, and more Radpour, M. Some Practical Notes on Preparations for Baha'i Funerals and Burials library.com/unpubl.compilations/funerals.htmlhttp://bahai- library.com/unpubl.compilations/funerals.html Spiritual Assembly Guidelines on Burial /nsaburial.pdf /nsaburial.pdf

19 ON BAHA’I BURIALS “The greatest gift a human being can make to God is a life lived in the knowledge and the worship of God. In fact, one's life is the most creative endeavor one undertakes. When a soul who has lived an exemplary life departs from this plane of existence, his or her passing becomes an instrument of education to other souls. The manner in which one plans for the distribution of one's belongings, the manner in which one's funeral and burial reflect one's commitment to God, the beauty with which one's grave is maintained; all of these become a further reflection of the nobility of a life well lived.” (Radpour)


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