• Explore These Resources For A Look At Funeral Traditions In Other Cultures

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    Funeral traditions vary widely throughout the world, but all of them carry the same purpose: to honor the memory of the deceased. For more on diverse funeral traditions, look to the following resources.

    • Mausoleums have been used throughout history to honor the deceased with permanent, elegant structures. Click on this link to learn more about the world’s most famous mausoleum, the Taj Mahal .
    • The Encyclopedia Britannica has more information on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus , one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
    • Firmly ingrained in the American funerary tradition, modern-day bagpipes originated in Irish and Scottish folk music. Learn the history of bagpipes at Bagpipes.co.uk.
    • Familiarize yourself with ways to care for a grieving friend with this useful guide from Psychology Today.
    • Music is an central component of funerals across cultural traditions. Learn some of the most common funeral songs and hymns by reading this article from the Co-Operative Funeral Care.

    Chapel of the Chimes provides end-of-life services according to the ethnic and cultural traditions of the diverse families of the East Bay. Call (510) 471-3363 or visit us online to find out more about how we can help you and your family.

  • Your Funeral Planning Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Funeral services allow family members and friends to reflect on the person’s life, celebrate memories from the past, and come together for support. In the days after someone you love passes away, coping with your loss while facing the responsibilities of funeral planning can be very difficult. It’s important to be prepared to make decisions on behalf of the deceased and the rest of your family, though funeral home staff members can help you with these decisions. Take a look at this infographic, which can help guide you through the challenges of funeral planning. Use this helpful checklist to prepare for your funeral planning responsibilities and ensure you don’t miss any important steps. If someone you know could use help after losing a loved one, please feel free to share this guide with them.


  • Tips on Offering Support to Those in Grief

    If your friend or significant other has recently suffered the loss of a loved one, being a compassionate, understanding presence will be indispensable in their time of grief. Offer whatever comfort you can, but remember to avoid giving unsolicited advice. You cannot fix your friend’s pain, but you can be a listening ear and a helpful hand.

    Beyond providing genuine sympathy, offer to help your friend with everyday tasks. Help handle phone calls, buy groceries, and provide assistance with final arrangements if needed. For more tips on caring for a grieving friend, watch this video.

    At Chapel of the Chimes, we provide compassionate support to families during their time of need. From estate planning to funeral arrangements, we are a trusted resource to help families honor the memory of a recently departed loved one. You can find out more about our highly respected services by calling (510) 471-3363.

  • The History and Significance of Mausoleums

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    Since the dawn of human civilization, cultures around the world have built mausoleums in memory of the deceased. Originally reserved for political leaders and the aristocracy, the structures are now available to a wide range of people seeking to honor their loved ones with permanent monuments. Read on for a guide to the history of these dignified structures.

    The Ancient Era The Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Chinese, and Indians all built mausoleums to honor important leaders throughout the ancient era. The structures get their name from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, a tomb built between 350 and 353 B.C. in present-day Turkey. Built to honor the governor Mausolus of the Persian Empire, the mausoleum was considered a triumph of architecture, identified by Antipater of Sidon as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The structure is now in ruins, but its name lives on to define above-ground burial chambers to this day.

    The Middle Ages By the Medieval and Renaissance eras, the use of mausoleums had spread around the world. In Europe, the landed nobility and wealthy merchants favored mausoleums for burials. Famous structures such as the mausoleum of Genghis Khan and the Taj Mahal were built during this time. Constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to honor his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is perhaps the world’s most famous mausoleum .

    Present Day Today, people throughout the world build mausoleums to honor their deceased loved ones. In the United States, public mausoleums with above-ground space for urns and caskets are widely available. In addition, family mausoleums can accommodate multiple generations of a family in a more private setting. Mausoleums can be custom-designed, catered to the preferences and budget of a grieving family.

    At Chapel of the Chimes , we provide custom-designed private mausoleums for families throughout the Bay Area. We will work with you directly throughout the design process, ensuring that your structure meets all of your unique specifications. To learn more about how we can help you and your family during your difficult time, call us at (510) 471-3363.

  • Why Are Bagpipes Commonly Played at Funeral Services?


    For more than 150 years, bagpipes have lent dignity and grace to funeral services throughout the United States. Steeped in the Celtic traditions of Scottish and Irish immigrants, the instrument is used today across cultures and faith traditions to honor the recently departed .

    Early History Bagpipes are a group of musical instruments that rely on a constant flow of air from bags into enclosed reeds to create a drone effect. Cultures across the Western world have used bagpipes for centuries, but the Irish uilleann pipes and the Great Highland Bagpipe of Scotland have earned the greatest international renown. The instruments are firmly ingrained in the folk music traditions of Ireland and Scotland, played over the centuries at a number of public ceremonies, including funerals.

    Introduction to the United States During the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s, Irish immigrants flooded into the eastern United States. The migrants initially faced widespread discrimination and nativist sentiment, relegating them into highly dangerous professions such as mining, law enforcement, and firefighting. Deaths in the line of duty were highly common among firefighters of the era, bringing a wide swath of Americans into contact with Irish funerary traditions and bagpipes. Over time, the louder Great Highland Bagpipe of Scotland replaced the Irish uilleann pipes at funerals, and the practice of playing bagpipes spread to fallen police officers and firefighters across various cultural traditions.

    Bagpipes Today Today, bagpipes are a common feature of funerals for fallen heroes such as firefighters, police officers, and members of the armed services. In addition, they remain a signature piece of funerals for people of Irish and Scottish heritage. Bringing a touch of majesty and grandeur to a memorial service, bagpipes are sure to be a central part of the American funerary tradition for years to come.

    If you are interested in incorporating bagpipes into the funeral of your loved one, contact Chapel of the Chimes. From Hayward, we provide estate planning, funeral services, and cemetery sites to grieving families throughout the East Bay. For a courtesy pre-planning funeral guide, call (510) 471-3363.

  • Learn More About the Grieving Process at These Helpful Sites and Ask Your Funeral Director for Additional Help

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    Grieving is a complex process that can take weeks, months, or even years. While helping somebody overcome their grief may seem like an insurmountable challenge, it is always helpful to gain a better understanding of what they are going through. Check out these links for further information about grief and how to cope with it:

    • Keep a close eye on your grieving loved ones, as grief can lead to an increased risk of suicide . Familiarize yourself with this list of suicide warning signs to look out for from U.S. News & World Report.
    • Yale University researchers have found that men and women react to grief in different ways. You can find out more about the results of their study in this article from Psych Central.
    • Planning a memorial service for your lost loved one may be challenging, but this handy pamphlet from the Funeral Consumers Alliance greatly simplifies the process.
    • If your grieving loved one needs professional help but refuses to go to counseling, you might suggest that they try coaching instead. You can learn about the different approaches of these two methods on Counseling Today ’s website.
    • While everybody handles grief differently, professionals generally accept that grief usually comes in five stages . The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation offers a guide to understanding this process.

    For more information on coping with the death of a loved one, contact Chapel of the Chimes at (510) 471-3363.

  • Happy New Year!

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    May the coming year bring lots of harmony, good health and prosperity in your life!

    Wishing you and your family a very happy new year from all of us at Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward!