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jizo ceremony

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Jizo Bodhisattva is a much beloved figure in Japan, Korea, and China and is  becoming increasingly well known in the West. In Buddhist cosmology Jizo is seen as protector of anyone in transition, especially children (who have died), travelers, and women, as well as those working with a life problem or physical affliction.   

saints.jpgSeveral patron saints in the Catholic tradition are Jizo equivalents, e.g., St. Christopher or Julian the Hospitaller for travellers and people in distress; Brigid of Ireland for infants; Margaret of Scotland  for deceased children; Teresa of Avila for parents, mothers, fathers who have died; and Gertrude of Nivelles for the recently dead. 

The ceremony will be done in silence, involves sewing a red garment to be placed on one of the statues, a simple chant service where the names of the dead are called out and incense is lit in remembrance. The whole thing is free of charge, lasts an hour, and is open to anyone regardless of religious or spiritual orientation. To respect confidentiality, photos are only allowed after the ceremony and mere spectators will not be admitted. Anyone may visit the memorial garden at any time in the future.

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