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Comparison of Eternal Memorial Services and Portable Memorial Services




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As birth rates decline, the population ages and younger generations move to urban areas, passing on and maintaining graves becomes increasingly difficult. As a result, there is a lack of successors, leading to grave closures and unmarked graves.

In response, attention has been given to eternal memorials, in which the remains are placed in a mass or joint grave; family memorials, in which the urn containing the remains is placed on a Buddhist altar; and handmade memorials, such as memorial diamonds. This article will take a look at the eternal memorials, home memorials, and handcrafted memorials from different perspectives.

Which is better, eternal memorials, or home/ handcrafted memorials?


First, we summarize the advantages and disadvantages of eternal memorials, home memorials, and handcrafted memorials, including costs.


Advantages & Disadvantages of Eternal Memorial Services


Advantages and Disadvantages of Eternal Memorial Services


An eternal memorial service is a long-term (permanent) memorial service provided by a temple or cemetery on behalf of the bereaved family. It's also called perpetual memorial services or permanent memorial services.


No one can take over the grave. The grave has been closed because the person is too old to maintain the grave or visit it. Many people choose to have an eternal memorial service because they find it difficult to afford the cost of purchasing a cemetery.


Let's look at the benefits of a perpetual memorial service.


Eternal memorial services mean that a temple or cemetery will provide memorial services on behalf of the bereaved family for a long period of time (perpetuity).


There is no one to take over the grave. They are too old to maintain the gravesites or visit the gravesites, so they have closed the gravesites. Many people choose to have a permanent memorial service because they find it difficult to afford the cost of purchasing a cemetery.


Let's take a look at the benefits of eternal memorial service.


  • No need for memorial services or management

Eternal memorial services are provided by a temple or cemetery, which takes care of the memorial service and management. Therefore, with a perpetual memorial service, there is no need to worry about the grave becoming unattached due to a lack of successors, or about not being able to visit the grave because it is too far away.


  • Reduces the burden on the family

With a permanent memorial service, the temple or cemetery will take care of regular memorial services and cleaning, thus reducing the burden on the family. However, not all permanent memorial services are the same, so it is recommended to check in advance.

Nowadays, many people do not want to go through the hassle of maintaining a grave, and an increasing number of people are choosing to have a permanent memorial service even if they have a successor. Therefore, people tend to prefer permanent memorial service not only for physical reasons, such as the removal of a grave but also for spiritual reasons.


  • Low Cost

Another major advantage of an Eternal Memorial Service is that it is less expensive than a typical grave. Basically, in an Eternal Memorial Service, the remains are placed in an ossuary or other facility for a certain period of time. After that period, the remains are removed from the urn and placed in a joint grave where they are enshrined with other remains in most cases. In some cases, the remains are placed in a joint grave from the beginning.


Therefore, compared to the cost of purchasing individual graves, the fee for a perpetual memorial service is less expensive. However, this excludes the cost of building individual graves without entering a joint grave, even for a perpetual memorial service.

The fee for a perpetual memorial service is generally paid in a lump sum prior to the delivery of the ashes, but we recommend that you confirm the fee in advance, as there may be an extra charge for annual maintenance and use of the ossuary.


  • Regardless of denomination or ancestry

In many perpetual memorial services, religion and denomination do not matter. Some facilities will accept non-religious, Christian, or Shinto, and will provide perpetual memorial services. In addition, there are many places where it is not necessary to become a parishioner.


  • Contracts can be made before death

There are a number of Eternal Memorial Services where you can sign up before your death. You can look at various Eternal Memorial Services facilities and decide where you would like to spend the remainder of your life after your death, knowing the price and conditions of the Eternal Memorial Services.

Abandoned cemetery cemetery
(Abandoned Cemetery / Reien)

Then, let's look at the disadvantages of a perpetual memorial service.

  • Difficult to retrieve remains

Eternal memorial services are not eternal but have a fixed period of time, such as until the 33rd anniversary of the death of the deceased. However, depending on the temple or cemetery, the period may differ to the 17th or 50th anniversary of the death of the deceased, so please confirm this at the time of the initial contract. If the remains are not placed in a joint grave from the beginning but are individually placed in an ossuary, they will be moved to a joint grave when the period for the perpetual memorial service is over. If this is the case, only the individual remains cannot be taken back.


  • Family members do not understand

In Japan, it is common for each family to have its own grave. Therefore, it can be difficult to gain an understanding of family members and relatives because the Eternal memorial service is a non-traditional method of memorial service.


  • No conventional cemetery visitation.

You can visit graves even during the Eternal memorial service. However, since the remains are placed in an ossuary or enshrinement grave, it is not possible to clean the grave, make offerings, or visit the grave with incense sticks and hands.

However, you can visit the grave if it is an Eternal memorial service that you can have an individual grave. Let's check the facilities of the Eternal memorial service.


Advantages & Disadvantages of Home and Handmade Memorial Services


A home memorial service means that the entire remains are placed at a Buddhist altar or other places for memorial services. A "handmade memorial service" is a service in which a portion of the remains is placed in the same manner as a home memorial service.


While there are laws regarding burial, there are no laws regarding keeping the remains at home and having a home or personal memorial service.


Both home and hand offerings were born from the fact that there is no one to succeed to the grave, the grave has been closed, it is impossible to visit the grave, or one lives in an apartment and cannot have a Buddhist altar.


Buddhist altar, urn and white wooden plate used as a hand offering at home
Buddhist altar, urn and white wooden plate used as a hand offering at home

Let us now look at the merits of home and hand offerings.

  • Feel close to the deceased.

Since the remains are in the house, you will feel as if the deceased is right beside you and that you are protected by the deceased. Also, with a memorial diamond made from the remains, you will feel as if the deceased is shining there.


  • Low fees

If you do not purchase a Buddhist altar and instead make a home memorial service with an urn containing the remains, the cost is much lower. For a handmade memorial service, the cost is even lower because the urn is smaller. In addition, if you choose to have a memorial service at home with items such as memorial diamonds or memorial jewelry, the cost may be less than purchasing a Kureishi or a cemetery.


  • Compact space for memorial services

Especially since a handmade memorial service is a part of the memorial service, it can be made into a compact form, such as a miniature urn, memorial diamonds, or memorial jewelry.


Therefore, even apartments and condominiums with few rooms can hold memorial offerings on hand without problems and harmonize with the room and its interior design. In particular, since memorial jewelry is worn for memorial services, it would be nice to have a special place to place the memorial jewelry when it is removed.


Next are the disadvantages of home memorial services and handmade memorial services.


  • Difficult to get family members to understand

Many people find it difficult to accept home memorial services and handmade memorial services because they are a new style of memorial service. Therefore, it is a good idea to discuss home or handmade memorial services with family members before death.


  • In trouble in case of emergency

Both home and hand offerings require that you consider what to do when you are no longer able to provide a memorial service. Because of laws governing the burial of remains, they cannot be left unattended or disposed of. Be sure to wake up with an idea of what to do in case of an emergency.


Incidentally, although the memorial diamond is not the remains themselves, it should be considered in the same way, since it is made from the person's remains.


Introduction of the popular handmade memorial offerings


With the popularity of hand offerings these days, a wide range of items are in circulation
With the popularity of hand offerings these days, a wide range of items are in circulation

Bone plate


This plate is made from the remains of the deceased and contains about 70% incinerated bone. If the name of the deceased is engraved on the surface of the plate, it can be enshrined as a special object, and since it does not remind one of the remains, it blends well with the interior design. Depending on the size, the price starts from 150,000 yen, so it is cost-effective.


Mini Butsudan


The mini butsudan is not a large butsudan, but a small butsudan that can be placed in a corner of a room. They can be of shapes, colors, and unique shapes that do not look like butsudan for a moment, and they can even become interior decorations. Mini butsudan prices start at several tens of thousands of yen and are easily affordable.


Memorial Diamonds


Memorial diamonds are made from carbon extracted from human remains and produced in a device that reproduces the same conditions as natural diamonds.


Memorial diamond rings made from remains diamonds
Memorial diamond rings made from remains diamonds

Therefore, the brilliance and strength of a memorial diamond are natural, with the only difference being that memorial diamonds are created from human remains.

Therefore, they are unique in size and color. The only difference is that the Memorial Diamond is made from the remains of the deceased, making it unique in size and color. For this reason, they have gained popularity as the only one and only special memorial diamond in the world.

Memorial Jewelry

LONITÉ™ can process fabricated memorial diamonds into beautiful memorial jewelry. Memorial jewelry is available in necklaces, rings, and earrings, and there are more than 40 different memorial jewelry designs that are personalized.

Wearing memorial jewelry gives you the peace of mind that you will always be with the deceased. Memorial jewelry is processed from memorial diamonds created during a diamond funeral, making it a unique style of handmade memorial service that combines the funeral service and the memorial service.


Eternal memorial services and handmade memorial services can be combined. Eternal memorial services and handmade memorial services are compatible memorial service methods. Therefore, more and more people are combining eternal memorial services and hand memorial services.

The reason is that since a handmade memorial service leaves a portion of the remains, an eternal memorial grave is chosen as the place for the rest of the remains. Also, even if the remains are placed in a joint or enshrined grave after being delivered to eternal memorial service, a handmade memorial service allows people to visit the grave close to the deceased.

For families who have no heirs to the graves or who have no one to succeed to the graves, the combination of an eternal memorial service and a handmade memorial service can provide a special memorial service for the deceased.

Conclusion

Eternal memorial services, in which a temple or cemetery provides a memorial service on behalf of the bereaved family, and on-the-premises memorial services, in which the remains are placed in an urn and kept at home, solve the problem of graveside memorial services and lack of successors, which has arisen from social phenomena such as the declining birthrate and aging population.

The handmade memorial service includes placing the remains in a miniature urn, placing a memorial diamond made from a part of the remains at home, and even wearing memorial jewelry made from the memorial diamond. The beauty of a handmade memorial service is that you can spend time with the deceased at any time. The rest of the remains can be memorialized in permanent memorial service.


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