Korean Funeral Traditions

Korean funeral practices can vary widely according to religion, but they all share some commonalities: solemn beauty and display of respect for a loved one. Rose Hills is a foremost expert in Asian funeral traditions. Our funeral planners—many of whom speak Korean—specialize in Korean funeral and burial traditions, and they work closely with families to design each ceremony according to the unique life of the person being honored.

Staterooms at our Whittier mortuary and the newly built Hua Yuan Ceremonial Complex are specifically designed with the cultural needs of Asian families in mind. Our state-of-the-art witness crematorium allows families who wish to participate in the cremation of their loved ones to do so.

A white floral wreath near a willow tree and lake

 

Korean funeral customs

Koreans may follow Christian, Buddhist or other religious practices. Within the Korean peninsula it is common for Korean families to honor their loved ones with up to three full days of visitation. If there are facilities available the family will stay with their loved one throughout the viewing period and prepare meals for family and guests. A typical Korean service at Rose Hills will consist of a vigil service held in the evening before the funeral and graveside services. An open casket during the visitation period and the funeral itself demonstrates respect. Another reason for the gathering is for the purpose of support and community. A prominent part of a traditional Korean funeral will frequently include the giving of a monetary gift to the family by attendees.

If the loved one is being buried mourners may participate in the process by tossing handfuls of dirt or by the use of a shovel to help cover the casket. Family members will often come back to the grave site within the next three days to continue offering prayers on behalf of their loved one.


The Visitor Center Galleria is where you'll find answers to many of the questions you might have about Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary.

Visitation Center

The Rose Hills visitation center comprises three floors, each with its own funeral chapel and multiple staterooms. All three floors hold space for religious and nonreligious memorials; staterooms of various sizes provide an intimate setting for a small gathering or more space for a sizable group. Staterooms can be personalized for a traditional memorial or a contemporary celebration of life. Some rooms are soundproofed for chanting and specially ventilated for incense burning.

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The lobby of Hua Yuan Ceremonial Complex at Rose Hills showcases the elements of water, sun and air.

Hua Yuan Ceremonial Complex

The Hua Yuan Ceremonial Complex opened in the spring of 2019. It was designed specifically with the cultural needs of Asian families in mind—though families of all cultural backgrounds are welcome to use the space. The complex includes two modern chapels, each with its own catering kitchen, dining room, ceremonial burner and courtyard. At the heart of Hua Yuan is an elegant reception area that showcases the elements of water, sun and air.

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Planning a Korean funeral at Rose Hills

For a funeral that honors your family's Korean culture, customs and the wishes of your loved one, contact us. Rose Hills' associates speak. many languages induding Korean and are well versed in Korean cultural traditions. Whether you are planning a traditional tribute or are looking for cemetery property that provides harmonious elements of Pungsu-Jiri, we will work with you to prepare for a meaningful and beautiful service. Get started by downloading our funeral planning guide or contact an advisor today.



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Particular passions, milestone moments and legacies created weave together to tell a story that is completely unique. The Insider’s Guide to Funeral & Cremation Planning will walk you through inspirational ideas and the simple steps to planning an unforgettable memorial of a loved one’s life—or your own when you plan in advance. Download your FREE planning guide today.