Partial Changes Made to Ritual Procedures for Funerals

Church Headquarters recently decided to make some changes to the ritual procedures for funerals. At the January 27 meeting of the Kanamekai (association comprising the head ministers of all directly supervised churches), Ritual Affairs Bureau Head Shigehito Kimura explained the details of these changes and the revisions to the upcoming eighth edition of Otsutome oyobi saigishiki (Service and ritual procedures), scheduled to be issued toward the end of February.

The changes include abolishing the “offering of tamakushi (sakaki branches)” and the “harai (purification ritual)” as well as allowing the kyofuku robe as part of the dress code.

As a result, the “harai kotoba sojo (offering purification prayer),” “onusa gyoji (purification ritual with onusa),” and “sogo harai (post-funeral purification ritual)” will be discontinued. Furthermore, the abolition of the offering of tamakushi applies not only to officiants but also to attendees at funerals. If ritual clothes such as jufuku, joue, or myoue are not available, funeral proceedings can be conducted in the kyofuku robe.

The new edition also includes mention of the ritual procedures for funerals overseas. A note has been added stating the necessity of taking into account the differences in customs and traditions and adapting as appropriate to the local needs in each country and region.

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