In This Essay I will explain Buddhists and Christians views on life after death. I will explain why they believe in the afterlife through reincarnation (Buddhists) and resurrection (Christians).
The 3 main views on life after death come from 3 different groups, Secular (non-religious views), Sacred (religious views), and finally humanist views (people who believe only in the human ability).
Most people only have one of these two beliefs on life after death. Firstly “…Death is the annihilation of the conscience…” This is trying to get through that there is nothing after death it is the end. The second is “…death is the passage of the mind or soul to another place or dimension…” This means there is an afterlife your soul ends up in a new body or in another dimension (i.e. paradise).
Firstly I will explain what happens at a Christians funeral. Often when a Christian is near death a priest and rubs the cross on to the person’s forehead. The priest does this to comfort the dying person and let them know their sins have been forgiven, This is also usually the time when they have their last communion. Christian funerals are usually sad events although they’re maybe a party to celebrate the person’s life afterwards. The deceased is usually dressed in the clothes they have requested (before they died!) or that their family has chosen for them. Once dressed the body is put into a coffin, which is placed in the church with the lid left off so the family and friends can see them one last time. As the priest enters he will say this quote from the gospel “ I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live, he who believes and lives shall never die”. The priest then recites the “lords prayer” and hymns are sung. The hymns sung are often chosen by the person themselves or the persons family. The mourners will then say a eulogy, and then the coffin is taken to the grave. The coffin is then lowered into the grave whilst this is happening the priest will say “earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes” this symbolises the person going back to the ground which god created humans from. Before the gravediggers fill n the grave the mourners will often drop dirt into the grave themselves. Once filled in the grave is decorated with flowers and a few weeks later a headstone delivered to the gravesite.
At Buddhist funerals they are dignified but not sad events as the belief that the person will be reincarnated prevents this. Most Buddhists will follow the Indian tradition of being burned at death. Similarly as in Christianity monks will visit the dying person and chant to comfort them. These monks will often attend the funeral as well, and the mourners will often give them gifts of food and candles to them. This gesture of good will is believed to help the spirit of the dead person. At first there is usually a big feast to remember the dead person, and at the funeral the monks will enter first then the men and women. The family and friends are usually dressed in black and at the funeral monks will chant prayers for the dead person. After this funeral the body is left for 7 days in this time monks will visit the coffin and pray there for 30 minutes. After this period the body will usually be cremated in the temples crematorium.