With the New Burial Policy, the burial period has been limited by the government to 15 years. Since 1998, exhumations have been introduced so that Singapore could try and solve the problem of land scarcity. What this means is that many years after the funeral, family representatives have to be involved in the process of exhuming the grave. The remains found in the grave will then be cremated or re-interred, depending on the deceased person’s religious and cultural background.
In this article, we break down the process of grave exhumation in Singapore. By following us through these simple steps that are easy to understand, you will not have to face much stress or hurdles when the time comes for you unearth a burial site.
1. Site Surveying
First, registration and site surveying have to be done to determine the chances of recovery. This allows the gravediggers to study and take into account the conditions of the burial site e.g. the soil conditions before they commence the exhuming process.
2. Setting an Auspicious Date
Family members who opt for exhumation services from funeral services in Singapore can choose an auspicious date and time for the exhumation selected by our funeral directors.
3. Applying For an Exhumation Permit
Next, an exhumation permit has to be applied for. Do not worry as our funeral services will take care of everything. All will be in order.
4. Prayer For Ground Breaking
Before the exhuming works commence, a priest or monk will be asked to conduct a prayer session. They will knock on the tombstone to symbolise that the grave exhumation will begin. It is also normal for the gravedigger to ask for blessings for the exhumation process.
5. Actual Exhumation At Night
As according to Chinese beliefs, “Yin” and “Yang” cannot collide, hence all grave exhumation services are done during the night. Family members are encouraged to witness the exhumation event. At least a representative of the family.
6. Post Exhumation
Upon successful exhumation of the grave, debris is cleared from the tomb. New soil is subsequently provided to fill up the exhumed burial site.
7. Cremation of Ashes
Exhumed remains will then be cremated at the columbarium. The government will bear the cost of niche at the public columbarium. Our staff at Embrace Funeral Services will assist the family in the purchasing of urns and marble slabs as well as other procedures.
8. Transportation of Ashes
The funeral service staff will transport the cremated remains to the relevant columbarium. An umbrella is used to prevent the ashes from being exposed to the direct sunlight. We make sure to carefully and delicately place the cremated remains into the urn, alongside other offerings and auspicious items.
9. Final Prayer Service
Last, but not least, a prayer service will be conducted for the installation of the urn. This is to ensure that the deceased will have a peaceful rest in their newly relocated home.
These steps reflect how a traditional grave exhumation looks like. It differs from family to family. Some prefer private exhumations and for the ashes to be at a private columbarium. Some would rather have a burial at sea, instead of cremating the deceased’s remains. No matter which option, we at Embrace are dedicated to provide quality funeral services and cater to the family’s wishes.