Memorial Services are not just for One Generation

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

A question a lot of married women reading this blog ask me is whether they can hold memorial services for ancestors by use of both their maiden name and their present family name while using the former at work. Now I’m going to answer the question from the following two points of view.

  1. Should memorial services for ancestors be held by use of only one family name?
  2. If memorial services are held by use of two family names, what kind of harmful effects are brought about?
  • ancestor 先祖
  • by use of A Aを用いて
  • maiden name 旧姓
  • harmful 有害な
  • effect 結果
  • bring about A Aを引き起こす

Regarding the question 1, if you’re married, you should hold memorial services by use of your present family name and the Tanzaku (a strip of Japanese paper) with the words “The Place For Ancestral Spirits of So and So Family” written on it should be put under your household shinto altar. By offering the third incense stick, you can console the ancestors of your previous family name as the spirits related to you, the practitioner of the service.

  • regarding A Aに関して
  • ancestral  先祖の
  • console 慰める
  • related 関係した
  • practitioner 実践者

The major reason for doing this is that for the future of your children, the next generation of your family line, it is better to clean and thicken the spiritual line of your husband’s family whose name they use from birth. If you do so, you won’t be worried over your children.

  • thicken 厚くする
  • generation 世代
  • from birth 生まれた時から

Should there be no successor of your previous family because of some karma, it can be said to be a fate in the current of the family. Though there is a counter-plan to prevent the family line from failing of having your child become a successor of your previous family as an adopted child, if you do this forcibly, various problems will happen to the child because of the karma that caused your previous family to head in such a direction. However, if the adoption of the child is smooth and successful, there’s no problem. It is not good to hold a memorial service for the sake of your generation alone. You have to take into consideration your descendants and those related to you as well.

  • fate 運命
  • current 流れ
  • adopted child 養子
  • forcibly 強制的に
  • head 向かう
  • direction 方向
  • take A into consideration Aを考慮に入れる
  • descendant 子孫

Regarding the question 2, as a husband and a wife come to stand as equals, they will have difficulty making mutual concessions even over trifle things and are likely to fight each other over and over again. Also, because they have their own spiritual lines each, the protection of spirits are separated. You will end up taking over bad karma from both families. Spiritually speaking, they look like men representing their own family line though they’re a couple.

  • mutual 相互の
  • concession 譲歩
  • trifle 些細な
  • be likely to~ 〜しそうである
  • represent 代表する

Under such circumstances, even if you start to hold memorial services for your ancestors, the effects will be down by half and bad effects of the karma will double and as the result you will cease to do it somehow. I feel that countries that the system of husband and wife retaining separate family names is adopted will have a high divorce rate. You can use your maiden name at work, but you should use your husband’s family name in holding memorial services if you want family happiness.

  • circumstance 状況
  • cease to~ 〜しなくなる
  • somehow どういうわけか
  • adopt 採用する
  • retain 保持する
  • divorce  離婚

There can be a case where a husband lives with his wife’s previous family, using his own family name. This is a little bit complicated. Unless he changes his family name to his wife’s, he will be apt to get a divorce from his wife sooner or later. But if he is patient and calm as a husband, there is an exception to it, of course. In this case, he should hold a memorial service offering three incense sticks after he did it in front of the family Buddhist altar at his wife’s house offering one incense stick.

  • complicated 複雑な
  • unless S+V SがVしない限り
  • get a divorce 離婚する
  • sooner or later 遅かれ早かれ
  • exception 例外
  • Buddhist altar 仏壇

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

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