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Friday, April 17, 2009

Remembering My Father 2

It's Ching Ming , so, we lay offerings of food that my father liked, as a symbol of respect  and a way of remembering him.

After that, we burned incense papers, fake paper money (interestingly they call them hell notes) and even the tobacco my father liked. It is a ritual. I don't think the burning will serve my father, unless he is still stuck in the astral world as a hungry ghost. I doubt that he is, because I know him to be such a peaceful soul that didn't need or want anything from us when he was with us. 
If my father is reincarnated as a human being, he wouldn't know that we are burning these incense for him - at least consciously. It is the same as that I don't know if there is a someone somewhere praying for me, be they be doing it in a Taoist shrine, Catholic church, mosque...etc.
If my father is in the heavenly realms, then he won't need us to burn those incense. He would be in pure bliss and would not have these earthly desires.
Perhaps the traditions are for the surviving offsprings, as a ritual for the living to stay as a family and offer our gratitude to the deceased.
However, my siblings who are Christians (and also my father's filial children) refused to perform the rituals.  For me, I go through the rituals. It is not going to offend my God. God cannot be offended. In other words, I have chosen to be in this world, but not of this world.

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