Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward offers a complete selection of
Funeral, Memorial, Burial, and Cremation Services. With a 61 acre
cemetery, we serve all faiths and cater to all cultural traditions.

How to Personalize into Your Loved One's Memorial

Flower on a grave

More and more funeral services are paying tribute to the deceased in unique and deeply personal ways. Use these memorial personalization tips to begin looking for special ways to honor a precious loved one at his or her funeral service.

  • Consider A Loved One’s Personality

The process of personalizing a loved one’s memorial begins with a comprehensive list. Note their favorite entertainment, hobbies, and style of dress. These items will make up the foundation of your loved one’s specialized service. Contact the deceased’s pastor or deacon to perform the service if their faith was an important aspect of life. Consider reflecting your loved one’s unique fashion style in a non-traditional dress code for the memorial. Each of these strategies can help the memorial to reflect the unique spirit of a family member who has passed.

  • Seek Input From Friends and Relatives

Don’t bear the burden of planning your loved one’s memorial service on your own. The significant mourning that follows a loved one’s death can be overwhelming. In turn, this grief is quick to stifle the creativity that you will want to access when personalizing a funeral. Working with close friends and family to characterize the funeral takes this pressure off of your shoulders. Close friends may also be privy to elements of the loved one’s final wishes that were not expressed to family members. Also, incorporating others into the planning process can ensure that everyone has support through a healthy mourning period.

  • Use Cemetery Services

Remember to consult the cemetery director for more tips on how to add personal flourishes to the memorial. Chapel of the Chimes, for example, offers auditory accompaniments like a bagpipe player. These one-of-a kind musical features may be the perfect addition to a loved one’s thematic memorial. Likewise, including a framed portrait or custom wrist bands remind attendees that their precious loved one lives on in memories.

The compassionate staff at Chapel of the Chimes is dedicated to meeting personal requests for all funeral services. Our Silver Package and other signature services allow for greater creativity in funeral planning. Dial (510) 471-3363 for additional details.

Ching Ming 2012

Ching Ming Page 1

History of Ching Ming
The phrase Ching Ming is linked to the Chinese tradition of ancestor worship, which many consider the original religion of China dating back over 2,500 years.

The practice of ancestor worship is based on three beliefs:

  • That a person’s good or bad fortune is influenced by the souls of his or her ancestors
  • That all departed ancestors have the same material needs they had when alive
  • That the departed can assist their living relatives

Ching Ming is a major public festival that is generally treated as an official holiday in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Ching Ming Traditions
On Ching Ming (or Qing Ming), celebrants traditionally visit ancestral graves, where special rites are held and offerings are made in honor of ancestors. This event is held on the 106th day after winter solstice and usually occurs on April 4th or 5th. Traditionally in today’s world of working families, the trip to the
Cemetery will occur on the weekend before April 5th.

This event is related to the Chinese tradition of receiving blessings from previous generations when undertaking a new venture. Ching Ming unfolds in a picnic-like atmosphere and is observed as a time for happy communion with ancestors rather than a somber occasion.

Visiting the cemetery is referred to as “hang san” (walking the mountain). A series of activities; clearing the gravesite of dirt and debris, weeding around the site and repainting inscriptions on the gravestone are together referred to as “sweeping the grave”. Wine and a variety of foods may be placed around the gravesite as offerings to the spirit of the deceased. Eating the food that was offered to the deceased is considered good luck. Paper money is burned for use in the afterlife, candles are lit, and family members bow and kneel in respect. Many of today’s offerings may be simple, consisting of incense, paper money and flowers. Families may also set off firecrackers to drive evil spirits away from the gravesite.

For Chinese Immigrant communities, Ching Ming is observed as a traditional and cultural ritual rather than a religious practice. In the United States, Ching Ming is most commonly observed in San Francisco and Hawaii.

Wall of Honor
What if all your departed loved ones are overseas? How do you pass on this tradition of respect to future generations? We at Skylawn and Chapel of the Chimes Hayward have erected a special Wall of Honor, where you can come and place the names of your departed loved ones and carry on the Tradition of Ching Ming that has been a part of Chinese Culture for over 2,500 years.

For more information about this event, please give us a call at (510) 471-3363 or visit our website! If you would like to add your loved one's name to the Wall of Honor, please visit the Ching Ming 2012 link.

Ching Ming Page 5

Essential Information to Include in an Obituary


An obituary serves as both a concise summary of a person’s life and as a public announcement of their recent passing. The intended publishing location of the obituary will ultimately dictate the exact format and length of the piece. Use the following format tips for help in preparing the obituary.

  • Newspaper Format

Obituaries for publication are typically written in a short, newspaper-friendly form. Even the shortest obituary includes the person’s full name, birth date, and date of death. Families should also include the date and setting of the memorial service. While relatively short, obituaries like these are important for communicating with persons close to the deceased but not connected with the family. Obituaries may be the first place co-workers or acquaintances may become aware of your loved one’s passing.

  • Program Long Form

The obituary found in funeral programs and dedications includes much more detail than the newspaper counterpart. Detailed plans for the memorial, circumstances of the death, and a detailed life history are often elements included in this long-form obituary. Families are also advised to focus on sections of the loved one’s life that held special meaning. Highlight time spent in military service or lifetime volunteer work in the program. These obituaries should also include all of the information presented in the newspaper format.

  • How To Publish

The ease of putting an obituary into print depends largely on the publication of your choice. Many newspapers will run a brief obituary or long-form notice for free. Large publications will publish obituaries at a cost (either a flat fee or charged by the word). Consider publishing the obituary in a newspaper well-read by the deceased loved one in life. Many of these services can be handled by the funeral director for the family’s convenience.

The Chapel of the Chimes hosts obituaries directly on our home page. This service ensures all family and friends have an opportunity to reflect on the life of your passed loved one. Learn more about obituary support by dialing us at (510) 471-3363.

Funeral Home & Memorial Resources from Chapel of the Chimes Hayward

In Loving Memory

Have you found our recent blog posts to be helpful? If you are looking to learn more about the complex and personal process of grieving, or you would like to find out more about the different types of in-ground burial options, then browse through the following resources. Cemetary

  • Read more about the patterns and stages of grieving that many people experience following the death of a loved one in this Psychology Today article.
  • Learn more about the complexities of the grieving process from the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation.

For more information, or for assistance in planning the funeral or memorial service of a loved one, call Chapel of the Chimes Hayward at (510) 471-3363.

How to Dress For a Funeral

Many people agonize over what to wear to a funeral—not out of vanity, but out of concern of the grieving processes of those around them. To find out what type of funeral attire is considered safe and conservative, watch this brief informational video.

This video provides tips on dressing appropriately for both men and women. In addition to offering specific examples for tops and bottoms, this video touches on shoes, jewelry, neckties, and other accessories so that you can feel comfortable about your entire outfit when you show up to your loved one’s funeral.

It is worth noting that not all funeral dress codes adhere to the norm. If a cultural or religious tradition means that the funeral you are planning has a non-conventional dress code, be sure to let visitors know in advance. For start-to-finish assistance in planning a funeral in the East Bay area, call Chapel of the Chimes Hayward at (510) 471-3363.

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Hours of Operation

  • 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Sunday
  • 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday
  • 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday
  • 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Wednesday
  • 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Thursday
  • 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Friday
  • 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday