Ancestor altar plates are an extremely important item in the worship of ancestors in every family. It is not only a decoration, but also a sacrificial object with special and important meaning in Vietnamese ancestor worship rituals.
However, not everyone understands the true meaning of the tablets in family ancestor worship rituals and how the altar is set up in the standard and traditional manner.
Sample ancestral altar tablets on Buddhist objects
Ancestor altar plates and their meaning in worship
Ancestor Worship Tablet, also known as “God” or “Spirit”, is a special card used in every family to worship ancestors, grandparents and those who have passed away . This card is usually made from wood, then carved and covered with protective paint. On the card, the dates of birth and death as well as the role, position, and name of the deceased will usually be clearly stated.
In the past, tablets were often used as altar frames to house photographs of the dead placed on ancestral altars in families.
notes In the ritual of offering tarpan for the worship of ancestors
It should be noted that in the ritual of making ancestral altar tablets, everything follows clear rules to express the culture and customs in worship. The rules include making tablets, identifying the person being worshipped, writing on the cards, how to conduct death anniversary ceremonies, as well as arranging for the cards to be placed on the altar and the time for carving or burying the tablets.
However, the circumstances and circumstances of each family are different, so the ritual of making ancestral altar tablets can be changed or adjusted to suit the actual situation. This demonstrates the flexibility and uniqueness of Vietnamese culture and worship beliefs.
How to make an ancestral altar to get lots of blessings?
According to traditional customs, the installation of ancestral tablets is accompanied by very complete and respectful rituals. Typical rituals include creating a station next to the grave, inviting talented people or literati on the subject (writing words on tablets) before burial. After that, the tablet would be placed on the sacred chariot before being lowered into the tomb, and the family would take the tablet from the grave home to place it on the altar for worship.
Currently, most families seek advice from establishments specializing in making tablets and engraving words on them. Some families ask teachers to write letters on paper, then transfer them to factories to make cards according to the pre-written request.
When the creation of the tablets is complete, the homeowner often chooses a good day, the anniversary of a death or before Tet, to place the cards on the ancestral altar. Before performing the burial ceremony, the family often uses ginger wine to clean the altar, that is, to inaugurate the altar.
Families who can afford it often ask the shaman or priest to perform the puja, inauguration ceremony and disposal ceremony with solemnity and completeness. However, in cases where the family is busy or cannot organize all the rituals due to various other reasons, they still show their respect by performing the rituals themselves and sincerely offering the pills at the ancestral altar.