Special Services

Cleveland Buddhist Temple Special Service Offerings


All couples are welcome to be married at the Cleveland Buddhist Temple. Commitment ceremonies and renewal of vows are also performed. Please contact Rev. Anita at [email protected]  to discuss all options for your special day.

Say I Do at CBT
Hatsu Mairi Certificate

Infant Presentation (Hatsu Mairi Ceremony)

Infant Presentation Ceremony, child’s first visit, may be conducted as a private service. Please contact Rev. Anita at [email protected]  to arrange your child’s first visit.


Pillow Service - Makuragyo Service

Makuragyo literally means, pillow sutra. Traditionally this service is held immediately following the death of a person. Therefore, the sutra is chanted at the pillow, where the deceased's head is laying. This is a service for the family and friends who are closest to the deceased. Today, the Pillow/Makuragyo service may be held as soon as death has occurred or whenever arrangements can be made for the immediate family to gather. Please contact Rev. Anita to make arrangements for this service at: [email protected]

Lotus Flower

Funeral Services

As Buddhists, death is a time of transformation from this life of samsara. It is also a time for the family and friends of the deceased to hear the teachings of the Buddha on impermanence. The minister’s message and the sutra chanting form the core of the funeral service. Funeral gatherings are for the sake of the living and attendance by family and friends is encouraged.

Understanding death is necessary to understand life. As Rennyo, our 8th Monshu in the 15th century), writes in his Letter on White Ashes"The fragile nature of human life underlies both the young and old."

Please contact Rev. Anita to discuss your preferred arrangements and service at: [email protected]

The Funeral Services may be conducted at the funeral home, Temple or another location chosen by the family and coordinated with the Resident Minister. A Homyo or Buddhist name, which reflects the life of the deceased, is chosen by the Supervising Minister and presented by the Resident Minister at the service. This Homyo accompanies the deceased as she or he passes on to Buddhahood.

 Memorial Services following Funeral Service

Families may also arrange to hold the following Memorial Services following the Funeral.  They may be private services arranged with the Resident Minister, or they may be held with the Sangha at the monthly service.

Cycles for holding Memorial Services following a Funeral are based on ancient Japanese counting; it is the Memorials that are held, not the years following death.

  • First week (7th day) following burial or cremation - The first memorial service to be held is also called the seventh day service. This service is usually held after the burial or cremation. It is the first time the family gathers together after the physical body of their loved one is no longer among them. It is the time to turn to one another for support and listen to the Dharma for strength and guidance.
  • Seventh week (49th day) about a month and a half to two months after death - The next is on the 49 day period of mourning after death and is another opportunity to listen to the Dharma.
  • Hatsu-bon memorial is held on the 1st year anniversary from date of death. It is held during the Temple’s annual Obon Service held in July of each year
  • 3rd San-kai-ki memorial is held on the 2nd year anniversary from date of death.
  • 7th Shichi-kai-ki memorial is held on the 6th year anniversary from date of death

Monthly Memorial Service – With the Sangha

A tradition that evolved in the United States is our Monthly Memorial Service. It takes place on the third Sunday of each month.  We recognize the names of those who passed in that designate month and offer incense in gratitude.  This Memorial Service is shared with our Sangha and guests.

Cherry Blossoms

A monthly Memorial Services is a part of our Jōdo Shinshū Service on the on the third Sunday of each month.  Please  submit names of loved ones to Rev. Anita at [email protected] for the names to be registered in the proper month.  Family and friend are encouraged to attend in the month their loved one is remembered with gratitude.

Memorial services have a long history in Buddhism. Family and close friends gather at the memorial services to help emphasize that death is a natural occurrence in life and is not something to be feared. It is a wonderful opportunity of reinforcing family ties beyond one's immediate family and which helps to create a sense of continuity from generation to generation.

The memorial service in Jodo Shinshu is not for the sake of the dead. In holding the service in memory of the deceased, we acknowledge our ties to the various causes and conditions in our life that allow us to exist.

Memorial services provide us with the opportunity to quietly meditate or reflect upon the cherished memories of the deceased and they remind us of the impermanency of life. This reflection brings us to further awareness of our own changing existence. As we recall the countless benefits bestowed upon us by the deceased, there arises within us a feeling of gratitude toward the deceased and others for making life possible for us.

By realizing the true significance of memorial services in light of the Jodo Shinshu teaching, it will become more significant and meaningful to us.

In the Western tradition the family registers the name of the deceased to be remembered each year, thereafter, in that month’s Memorial Service.

Lotus Flower

Services Status in the time of COVID-19

Family Memorial Service (Private)

A family memorial service may be performed up request to remember a loved one. The family or friend may request this and it can be held at a location and time to be arranged.



Hatsubon Service is traditionally held during Obon in July of each year. Those who have passed away since the previous Obon will be remembered and honored with gratitude.

Japanese Paper Lanterns