2020/10/04 12:44:58

Basic knowledge about meals served at funerals-What is the meaning of devotion?

A funeral, a farewell ceremony to send the deceased. At such funeral venues, there are many timings for eating and drinking, starting with tea and sweets and setting meals. Serving tea and sweets has the meaning of "because it will be a long time, so please eat something", and it also means the consideration for the attendees. Depending on the area, certain sweets may be prepared, so eating and drinking at the funeral may seem different from eating and drinking at home or having a dinner with close acquaintances.

The set served at the funeral is also unique to the funeral. Since many homes ask caterers, some may think that "there is something similar to a wedding or festival." However, if you take a closer look at the dishes of the set, you will notice that the contents of the dishes are a little different from those of weddings and festivals.

This time, I will talk about eating and drinking at the funeral. What does the funeral meal mean? Also, what kind of dishes do you mainly arrange?

The meaning of devotion is "one meal"

Meals served at funerals are called "dedication".

The original meaning of devotion was "the end meal of Seishin Seisai." Seishin Kiyosai is to cut off alcohol and meat to cleanse yourself before a Shinto ritual. When this cleansing event is over and you can eat meat and sake, you will have a meal of "Shinshin Kisai, this is the end".

Also, in the olden days, during the period of mourning, we basically did not eat meat or fish and ate simple vegetarian food. The dishes that you have to say, "This is the end of the 49-day bardo period," are also called "dedication." In other words, the meaning of devotion is "a meal to return to a normal meal after the necessary events and memorial services of Seishin Seisai" and "a separate meal".

What is the meaning of devotion at a funeral?

Considering the meaning of devotion, you can understand that it is not necessarily a word used only at funeral seats. Think of it as "a meal at the end of a period of cleansing and mourning, whether it's a festival or not" and "a meal at the end of a period of cutting off alcohol, meat, and fish." Isn't it easy to understand?

At present, there are generally few homes that say, "Because it's before the festival, let's do our best." There are few homes that change their morning, lunch, and evening dishes to vegetarian dishes that do not use meat or fish. The meaning of "dedication" has come to be used to mean "a meal served at a funeral." Especially in Buddhist funerals, the word "dedication" is used.

Eating meals is important for Buddhist funerals. The reason for devoting yourself is to "accumulate virtue by serving food," "to work for attendees and monks," and "to purify attendees."

However, not all meals that appear in the funeral process have the meaning of "dedication." Meals served during the night are called "wake-up behavior" and have a different meaning from devotion. In general, the menus for "Dedication" and "Wake-up" are different.

What kind of food will be served for devotion?

What kind of dishes are lined up for devotion?

I wondered if the menu was decided according to the meaning of devotion, but nowadays it is often served in the form of "Japanese food set", which appears at events such as meetings and festivals. It's not much different from cooking. However, depending on the region, devotion may mean a meal served at a funeral, so meat and fish may be modest. Traditional dishes may be served with an emphasis on local customs rather than the meaning of devotion.

The general menu for devotion is "tempura," "sashimi," "pickles," "suimono," "simmered food," "vinegared food," "grilled food (grilled fish, etc.)," ​​"chawanmushi," "rice," "salad," "jelly," "Fruits" and so on. Doesn't it give you a quick look at the menu and feel that it's an ordinary Japanese meal?

Now that the meaning of devotion has changed mainly to "meals served at funerals," there are no strict rules regarding the menu. However, considering that the meaning of devotion is a meal during a funeral, there is a tendency to avoid ingredients that are associated with celebrations.

Sea bream and spiny lobster are just the representative ingredients for celebrations. Considering the meaning of devotion, grilled sea bream and sashimi of spiny lobster are basically not lined up on the menu. Certainly, if the meaning of devotion is a meal during a funeral, you will be surprised if sea bream or spiny lobster comes out.

Just because Ise lobster is an unavoidable ingredient does not mean that lobster in general can be avoided. Shrimp tempura and sashimi are often lined up in devotion. The same is true for sea bream, and while congratulations on the bright red sea bream are rarely lined up in dishes, the fish itself is not a bad thing. Sashimi and grilled fish are standard menus for devotion.

Precautions when preparing a devotion at a funeral

When you become a mourner and give a funeral, you don't have to think about the meaning of devotion when choosing a menu. Caters and funeral directors offer devotion for each price. Just like when booking a course meal at a restaurant, you can check the price and content of the meal and tell the cater or funeral director the number of people and the course you want to prepare.

The market price is said to be from 3,000 yen per person. Ask them to make a quote for the number of people and budget, and be careful not to later say that the payments were completely different.

Alcohol is basically an extra charge. It is safe to check carefully how the price will change if you include drinks.


The original meaning of devotion was "a meal to eat at the end of an event that requires mourning or cleansing." The meanings and words of devotion were not only used at funerals, but also at festivals and rituals. However, at present, there are few people who do vegetarian food for festivals, and even if they are in mourning, there are no homes that bother to change the menu for morning, lunch, and evening meals to vegetarian food. The word "dedication" is less often used as a "separate meal."

Although it is different from the original meaning of devotion, devotion is used to mean "a meal served at a funeral." There is no problem if you gently interpret it as "dedication is the meaning of a meal served at a funeral." However, the meanings of "dedication" and "wake-up behavior" are different. Be careful not to confuse it.

At funerals, there are many words that are rarely used in everyday life and words that have hardly touched the meaning. One of them is the meaning of "dedication".

Opinions and words are not difficult, even if you don't usually have a chance to touch them. Besides, at the funeral, it's best to send the deceased in peace. You don't have to panic, "I have to understand the exact meaning of devotion." Please do your best, taste the food, pray for the deceased's soul, and send the deceased out in a peaceful dining table and conversation.