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Directives from the Guardian

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • India/Hawaii, 1973 edition
  • Pages:
  • 87
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Pages 32-33

85: FUNERAL (Bahá’í Funeral Service)

“Regarding the Bahá’í funeral service: It is extremely simple, as it consists only of a congregational prayer to be read 33 before burial. This prayer will be made available to the friends when the Aqdas is translated and published. In the meantime your N.S.A. should take great care lest any uniform procedure or ritual in this matter be adopted or imposed upon the friends. The danger in this, as in some other cases regarding Bahá’í worship, is that a definite system of rigid rituals and practices be developed among the believers. The utmost simplicity and flexibility should be observed, and a selection from the Bahá’í Sacred Writing should serve the purpose at the present time, provided this selection is not rigidly and uniformly adopted on all such occasions.”
“There is no objection whatsoever to non-Bahá’ís being present when the long prayer for the dead is read, as long as they respect our manner of reading it by rising and standing as the Bahá’ís do on this occasion. Nor, indeed, is there any objection to non-Bahá’ís being present during the reading of any Bahá’í prayer for the departed.
“An official Bahá’í funeral service should only be given for a believer, but there is no objection to the reading of Bahá’í prayers, or indeed, to a Bahá’í conducting the funeral service of a non-Bahá’í if this has been requested.”