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Here's what you will need to prepare a Baha'i body for burial:


 1)  A Baha'i Burial Ring

 

   The ring (for adults) reads: I came forth from God, and return unto

Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast unto His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This can be purchased through the Baha'i book stores in your area, or online. You can also contact the nearest Spiritual Assembly for their advice.

 

2)  Rose Water

 

     This can be found in most health food stores.  It is simply water,

 rose-scented, and it smells great!

 

 3)  Shrouding Cloths

 

     A total of 34 ft. of material (silk or cotton) about 4 ft. wide

divided into five pieces:  (for an average size person but smaller or

larger, if you like) two  are 4 x 4 and the other three are 4 x 6, 4 x 8,

and 4 x 12. Some people suggest tearing a one inch strip off the 12 ft. sheet for use as strings -- otherwise cotton or silk cord can be

substituted, we assume.

 

4)  A Casket of Hardwood, Stone (Concrete) or Glass (fiberglass? probably not)

 

     We have recently used caskets made entirely of wood purchased and shipped from http://www.casketdepot.ca in Ontario. These were made, in China (no one closer would sell to us),  to Orthodox Jewish specs (of solid poplar which is technically a hardwood). #12 is the model number we bought and it was very nice and a reasonable price: $1500 including shipping in 2011. But then we noticed that the bottom is fibreboard! This was not a problem for us because our local regulations require a  concrete liner with lid which the Universal House of Justice says "stone". If you are not going to use a liner, you might want to replace the bottom with hardwood plywood.

 

Of course, you can also get a local woodworker to make up a simple casket for you. Quite a number of fairly soft woods are considered hardwoods because they keep well. Since we are not quite sure what Baha'u'llah meant by "hardwood" we have accepted the modern definition for now. We have asked the Universal House of Justice for clarification but, of course, it will probably have to be researched and for that and other reasons might not come anytime soon.

 

4) Miscellaneous Stuff 

 

    Spray bottles of cleanser (mild soap and water for washing the body is handy; stronger stuff for cleaning the surfaces), paper towels and plastic trash bags will all come in handy.

 

5)  Most Important of All -- People

 

    A nurse is a wonderful addition to have at the preparation;  there are usually family members and friends who are willing to help, as well. People who participate report that the experience is intense but wonderful. People who would rather not be involved are grateful and in awe!

 

6)  The Prayer for the Dead

 

    The prayer is obligatory and must be said anytime after death and before internment. At the preparation is a good time for this. All those present must stand. There is a source on the Internet that says the Prayer for the Dead must be said at the graveside service. This is not correct and there doesn't even have to be a graveside service (or any service, for that matter). Also, we understand the Persian Baha'is often have a memorial service on the first anniversary of the death but this (as far as we know, now) is a custom but not a requirement. 

 

7) For More Instructions about Wrapping the Body

 

    go  here. These were borrowed from Muslim sites in many different places. Sorry we can't be more specific about the source. When we started, we were just helping a friend whose husband was dying and did not know other people would ask for the information. Later, we found the same words repeated on many sites and could not identify the one we first accessed.