In China, 44 percent of religiously unaffiliated people have worshiped at a burial site in the past year. Yet, many young Chinese look down on these traditions, calling them “superstitious” and “old-fashioned.”
Local funerals involve much pomp and ceremony; the family uses extravagance to demonstrate their love for the deceased. The night vigil shows a sign of respect.
How would we both honor the meaning of Christian funerals and also Chinese traditions? Both are different. Some think that Christianity shows excessive love for foreign things. They say it shows a rejection of one’s roots. Yet, these traditional funeral ceremonies seemed strange to many of a younger generation.
CAN SAINTS IN HEAVEN HEAR OUR PRAYERS?
A Christian funeral with Christian meaning includes important prayers for the deceased. Catholics believe in offering prayers for deceased relatives.
“In heaven the elders and angels offer up the prayers of the saints [on earth] as incense before the throne of God” Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4
This implies that the angels and elders (holy Christians now in heaven) hear the prayers of every Christian on earth, and join their prayer now with ours: they can hear our prayers for the deceased.