At Cypress Lawn, one of the many reasons we enjoy living in the San Francisco Bay Area is the opportunity to serve families from different cultural and faith backgrounds as they pay tribute to their loved ones in meaningful funeral services, visitations, and receptions. Every day, we see how beliefs, customs, and religious traditions bring tremendous peace and comfort to those planning a funeral for someone they love. In addition to helping families tell their loved one’s story, we also are honored to host special ethnic events, including our upcoming Ching Ming celebration.
Since 1992, Cypress Lawn has invited families to our breathtaking grounds to celebrate Ching Ming (or Qingming), one of the most important Chinese cultural holidays. But in reality, since Cypress Lawn opened in 1892, our Chinese neighbors have been coming here to celebrate. Ching Ming, which translates as “clear brightness,” is a traditional time of cemetery visitation, as Chinese families around the world gather to commemorate loved ones lost.
Families are invited to pay their respects at their ancestors’ graves, which can be located using our Cypress Lawn mobile app or Cemetery 360 tool on our website. Traditionally, families clean/sweep their loved one’s gravesites, burn incense and paper, and place offerings of food and flowers. In addition, Cypress Lawn provides a large, complimentary buffet, and welcomes nuns from the Shuen Yeung Temple, a Buddhist house of worship in San Francisco, to sing, pray, play music and chant. Visitors can post loved one’s names on the Memorial Wall for the Chanting Buddhist Nuns (they will chant the names from the memorial).
The Chinese have observed Ching Ming for over 2,500 years, and for many, the day brings both happiness and tears, kneeling to offer prayers before gravesites of ancestors, while enjoying the hope of a spring day.