The ritual of the 49th-day ancestor worship for the deceased is a significant and necessary ceremony in the spiritual tradition of the Vietnamese people. It requires careful and meticulous preparation to express the deep gratitude of the family towards the departed. Let’s explore in detail how to acquire the necessary offerings, prepare the ceremonial meal, and conduct the proper ritual for the 49th-day ancestor worship with Vạn Sự Ancestral Worship Items through the information below.
Why is it necessary to conduct the 49th-day ancestor worship?
The 49th-day ancestor worship, also known as Chung Thất or Tốt Khốc ceremony, is a traditional ritual of ancestor worship in Vietnam that has been practiced for centuries. It holds significant spiritual importance as it allows the family to fulfill their filial duty towards the departed.
During this ritual, the family meticulously prepares the ancestral altar, adorned with all the necessary ceremonial items, with the hope that their deceased loved one will achieve liberation and journey to the spiritual realm. Conducting the Chung Thất ceremony is a way of sending off the deceased to the ultimate blissful destination.
The significance of the 49th-day ancestor worship in spiritual belief
According to folk belief, after death, the soul and consciousness of a person still exist. The soul remains in the earthly realm for 49 days. Therefore, during these 49 days, the family of the deceased conducts daily ancestral worship.
In Buddhist belief, death does not mark the end. When a person dies, they continue to reincarnate and be reborn in the next life because the physical body is merely temporary. Throughout these 49 days, the souls of the deceased undergo seven trials and judgments. Depending on their deeds in this life, they will be reborn into corresponding realms in the next life, carrying the consequences of their actions.
Therefore, organizing the 49th-day ancestor worship ceremony allows the family to bid farewell to the departed soul and guide them to the underworld. It is also a way to help the deceased achieve liberation and enter the cycle of rebirth. Furthermore, it accumulates merit for the deceased, allowing them to have a better future life.
What preparations are needed for the 49th-day ancestor worship?
Depending on regional and religious customs, each place may have different ways of setting up the 49th-day ancestor worship altar. For example, in Buddhism, it is believed that the offerings should be vegetarian to avoid creating more sins for the deceased. That is why people often use vegetarian food for the Chung Thất ceremony.
On the contrary, followers of ancestor worship in Luongism believe that the offerings for the ancestral altar are similar to those for regular ancestral worship. They only avoid prohibited items such as beef, dog or cat meat, while other offerings remain the same as in other ceremonies.
Below is an example of the ancestral worship altar for the 49th-day ceremony, which you can refer to:
Preparation for the 49th-day ancestor worship at home:
- 15 or more gold ingots and 2-3 sets of clothes for the deceased.
- Various gold paper items and other necessary items as used in daily life.
- Ancestral worship offerings consisting of familiar dishes such as meat, fish, rice cakes, etc.
- Incense, fruits, flowers, water, and alcohol.
Preparation for the 49th-day ancestor worship at the grave:
If the family follows Buddhism, they should conduct a vegetarian ceremony to lessen the suffering for the deceased. If the family follows Taoism, they can use a regular ancestral worship altar, including the following items:
- 2-3 sets of clothes, gold items, and other necessary items as used in daily life.
- More than 15 gold ingots.
- Meat and fish, which can be prepared by boiling or steaming.
- Various fruits, cakes, incense, lighters, and flower vases.
- If it is a vegetarian ceremony, you can prepare sticky rice, sweet desserts, and various fresh fruits.
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Some notes when purchasing items for the 49th-day ancestor worship
- Absolutely refrain from offering meats such as dog, cat, or beef.
- According to the customs of Northern Vietnam, family members should not mourn excessively as it may hinder the deceased soul from attaining rebirth.
- Follow the prescribed prayer written by the ritual master.
Details of the 49th-day ancestor worship ceremony for the recently deceased
Nam Mô A Di Đà Phật! (Bow 3 times)
I bow to the nine directions of the sky, I bow to the ten directions of the Buddhas, the Buddhas in ten directions.
Today is the day ………, month ………, year ………. in the lunar calendar, corresponding to the day ………, month ………, year ………. in the solar calendar.
At the address: ………….
I, the eldest son/daughter, ………
Obeying the orders of my mother/father, uncle, aunt, elder brother, elder sister, younger siblings, and in-laws, I, along with the generations, paternal and maternal, submit myself respectfully.
On this day of the Chung Thất ancestor worship ceremony according to the ancient ritual, I humbly present the prepared offerings, including: (read the names of the offerings)
I respectfully present the solemn offerings from the heart
In front of the sacred altar, the divine presence.
I respectfully report as follows: ……..
Mount Ho dim, the house of Thung cast its shadow (if it is the father) / Mount Dĩ dim, the house of Huyên cast its shadow (if it is the mother). The bond between a father who begets and a mother who nurtures is immeasurable. The bond between a father who begets and a mother who nurtures is infinite. For a long time, they have sighed with sorrow and wandered in a dream-like state.
Reminiscing the absence of both the yin and yang.In this life, they were joyous, as if they had something to celebrate. The flow of time tells the months and days, the melancholy of all things.
Until now, it has been seven weeks. The silver anniversary calls for the lighting of a ceremonial incense stick.
I invite the divine soul ………. (read 3 times)
Together with the celestial beings, the founding ancestors, the paternal ancestors, the maternal ancestors, and the other ancestral spirits according to the ancestral guidelines, let us gather here to receive the offerings.
I inform the venerable deities: Táo Quân, Thổ Công, the saints, the heavenly lord, the household gods, the protective deities of the Five Elements, to bless us with goodness.
Nam Mô A Di Đà Phật! (Bow 3 times)
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Some things to know about the 49th-day ancestor worship ritual
To avoid any mistakes or unwanted violations during the 49th-day ancestor worship ritual, including the preparation of offerings and the recitation of the 49th-day ancestor worship prayer, it is advised to pay attention to the following:
Should the worship be conducted at home or at the grave?
According to Vietnamese family customs, the Chung Thất ceremony is usually conducted both at home and at the ancestral gravesite. First, it is done at home, where the ritual master recites the 49th-day ancestor worship prayer to grant peace to the departed soul and facilitate its liberation.
Then, the offerings are moved to the gravesite. The same arrangements are made as at home, and the ritual master continues to recite the 49th-day ancestor worship prayer to invoke peace and liberation for the troubled spirit.
The accurate calculation of the Chung Thất ceremony date
There are two different methods of calculation, depending on the region:
- Counting from the day of the deceased’s passing to the 49th day and conducting the Chung Thất ceremony on that day.
- Counting from the burial day to the 49th day and conducting the Chung Thất ceremony on that day.
Should the ceremony be vegetarian or include meat offerings?
As mentioned earlier, depending on religious beliefs and customs, the ancestral offerings may differ:
In Buddhism, killing is considered a grave offense. Therefore, on this day, people often limit the offering of meat to reduce negative karma and create merit for the departed soul. Many families also use vegetarian food to entertain guests. Nowadays, vegetarian dishes have become more popular, and there is a wide variety of vegetarian recipes available.
Conversely, in Taoism, meat offerings are still acceptable, except for beef, dog, and cat meats, which should be avoided.
However, regardless of religious beliefs, offering vegetarian food is still the best choice. Vegetarian dishes cater to the taste buds of the majority, and refraining from killing is a way to accumulate merit.
Is there a need to continue offering meals after the 49th day?
According to Buddhist belief, after the 49th day, the departed soul will move on to another world and carry the karmic consequences of its deeds in the earthly realm. Therefore, the family only needs to offer meals during this period and no longer needs to continue doing so.
They should only conduct annual ancestral worship on the death anniversary and on the 1st and 15th day of each lunar month, according to Vietnamese ancestral worship customs.
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Through this article, Vạn Sự Ancestral Worship Items has provided the most accurate and detailed information about the 49th-day ancestor worship ritual. Furthermore, it has guided you in preparing the ancestral worship items for the recently deceased. If you have any questions regarding this matter, do not hesitate to contact us through our website or hotline: 096.351.5678
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