Sungka Tarn, a Merit Making Ceremony for My Mom

The 3 year anniversary of my mom’s death once again united our family on Sunday, 3 of my sisters came up for a Buddhist traditional ceremony of Sungka Tarn for my Mom at our local temple, Wat Greensboro. As for some, they might find that it’s more convenient to do this at home as a part of a Buddha house blessing, but for us it’s more convenient to do it at the temple so that the monks wouldn’t have to travel a great distance just to get to our house.

A Sungka Tarn is a Buddhist merit making ceremony for the deceased, we donated daily necessity items to the monks/temple such as bag of rice, tissues, toiletries, dried foods, fruits, waters, books, pens & pencils, bath towels, coffee & tea, and other necessity items.

Since it was in the morning, we also prepared the midday meal for the monks as well.

After the meal, the monks gave us our blessing and we chanted after Ajarn (monk) Noy that lead the chanting in Pali. Lee tried her best to follow, and when the verses got too complicated, she was very quick to pickup that every verses ended with a ‘Cha-Mi’. She has a beautiful voice, and her ‘Cha-Mi’ was quiet loud, and she would say it after everyone so it sounded like an echo. My sisters that sat next to her were giggling and the monk that lead the chant tried his best not to laugh. Lee noticed that people were looking at her and she whispered to me, “Did I say something funny?” I told her that she was doing just fine, and of course, her ‘Cha-Mi’ got a bit louder and more confident this time. After the service we went to say our farewell and the head monk gave Lee a children chanting book. I’m sure she’ll be better at it the next time.