• Burial Traditions and Funeral Customs of the Japanese

    asian flower

    Funeral services can vary greatly around the world, and many are seen in the diverse population of California’s East Bay. Traditional Japanese funerals are fairly common in this region, and they may appear dramatically different than those of western heritages. If you are attending the funeral of a Japanese friend or acquaintance, here are some of the elements you might expect to encounter throughout the services.

    Religious customs

    The majority of Japanese funeral customs stem from Buddhist traditions , although there are Shinto, Christian, and non-religious services that take place in Japanese culture. Buddhist services take place in three parts—the funeral, wake, and cremation ceremony—but only the first two are attended by larger groups of people. The cremation ceremony is private to close friends and families.

    Funeral services

    There is generally a wake and a funeral with the wake taking place at night and the funeral following the next day. Traditionally, the wake would take place over the body of the deceased on the day of death, but this does not always take place in modern services. Attendees of the wake may provide monetary offerings to the family of the deceased. The funeral will include burning of incense, reading of sutras, and prayer. White was customarily the color worn at Japanese funeral services, but black is typically chosen by modern Japanese families.

    Cremation and burial

    The cremation is an intimate ceremony in which the body is cremated inside an adorned coffin that may be filled with burnable items such as candy or cigarettes. Once the body has been cremated, close family members and friends will pick the bones from the ashes to place them in the urn. This is done with large chopsticks, and it is the only time in Japanese culture when it is okay to pass items from one set of chopsticks to another. The urn containing ashes is then sent to a burial space or tomb.

    At Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, we provide an array of multicultural funeral and cremation services to help you honor your loved ones following your own traditions. Visit our website or call us at (510) 471-3363 to learn how we can help plan your arrangements

  • Candlelight Vigil and Fundraising Event for Typhoon Haiyan Relief

    Friday, November 22, 2013 : 6:30 PM

    Chapel of the Chimes Hayward will be holding a candlelight vigil on Friday November 22 at 6:30pm. In conjunction with this event we will be handing out pumpkin pies for donations from 3-8pm.
    Pies will also be available on November 23 from 1-3pm.

    Proceeds from the fundraising events will be sent to help aid in the typhoon relief efforts.


    Please visit our website for more information:


  • Parents Coping with the Death of a Child

    If you have been faced with the death of a child, you may be in search of support to help you through the difficult grieving process . This video will allow you to hear from parents who have struggled with this type of loss.

    As you will hear, there are many points of view when it comes to child loss, and it may be hard for friends and family to find the right words to say. Parents may need a lot of time to work through their emotions and get back to normal, and the best thing to do is to offer ongoing support and show your sympathy.

    For funeral planning services in any difficult situation, connect with  Chapel of The Chimes Hayward . You can reach us on our website or at (510) 471-3363. 

  • How to Offer Support to Grieving Parents After the Loss of a Child

    The death of a child is one of the most difficult types of loss a person can experience, and it may take years for parents to return to a sense of normalcy in their lives. If you know someone who has suffered the loss of a child , there are some meaningful and effective ways in which you can reach out and offer your support.

    grieving family

    Assist in Planning Memorial Services
    It may be overwhelming for parents to sort through photos, write a eulogy, or plan the details of the service. If you are close with the family, you might step in to arrange the services or help find pictures and other relics that may be painful for parents to select themselves. It is important, however, to step in only when parents ask for help, as they may find some closure in planning memorial services.

    Explore Literature on the Subject
    There are a number of available books on  parental bereavement  that can help you understand what parents may be going through. You might also share these books with the parents to give them a resource for the grieving process.

    Respond to Cries for Help
    When you see a parent struggling to get back to everyday activities, missing out on sleep, or neglecting his or her personal care, it may be best to refer to professional grief support. You might find help from a local support group or schedule a one-on-one visit with a psychologist. Present the grieving parents with options and then decide which might be best for their needs.

    At  Chapel of the Chimes  in Hayward, you can find complete memorial, burial and cremation services that can be personalized to any family’s cultural and spiritual customs. To begin planning memorial services, call us at (510) 471-3363 or visit us on the Web. 

  • Coping with the Emotions You Feel After the Death of a Spouse

    Mature woman sitting looking depressed

    Losing a spouse is one of the most traumatic experiences you may face in life. Coping with such a profound loss is a process that will last long after the funeral service. If you have lost your loved one, here are some ways to deal with the emotional upheaval and to start healing:

    Let Yourself Mourn

    Mourning is a difficult process, but it is one you have to go through in order to cope with the loss of your spouse. Don’t try to sweep aside your emotions or force yourself to appear stronger than you feel to your friends and family. Give yourself permission to experience all of the emotions that develop in the wake of your spouse’s death. No emotion is off-limits, and you should never try to suppress any of the feelings that come up. It is absolutely essential that you mourn fully, in your own way, so you can begin to heal.

    Prepare for Special Occasions

    Part of dealing with the loss of your spouse is preparing for events that you know may be difficult. Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries can be particularly painful. Expecting these difficult times and giving yourself permission to have an off-day is helpful. Try to make plans with family or a supportive friend on these days to ease some of the burden.

    Plan a Memorial Service

    The first step in saying goodbye is planning a memorial service for your lost spouse. At Chapel of the Chimes, we can help you build a funeral that honors your spouse’s wishes and celebrates his or her life. Choose from religious services, non-religious ceremonies, formal funerals, and informal memorials. Taking the time to honor your spouse will help you begin to process your grief.

    After you lose a spouse, you’re not alone. At Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, CA, our compassionate staff will help you with every last detail of funeral planning. We also offer funeral pre-planning and grief counseling services. To learn more about how we can help, call (510) 471-3363.  

  • A Brief Look at Signature Services at Chapel of the Chimes


    At Chapel of the Chimes, our goal is to give you the options you need to create a memorial service that is as unique as your lost loved one. That is why we offer a number of Signature Services you can add to your ceremony to make every part of the memorial meaningful.

    Our Flight Home and Butterfly Release ceremonies are particularly striking ways to say goodbye. Both of these ceremonies signify the release of your loved one’s spirit and his or her journey to reunite with deceased family and friends. We also offer the option of providing memorial wristbands to your guests to commemorate the service. We can also arrange for a bagpiper, violinist, or harpist to perform a musical tribute.

    These Signature Services are just a few of the many ways that Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, CA can assist you with your funeral planning. Contact us when you need help arranging a funeral or when you wish to pre-plan your own. Call us today at (510) 471-3363.