Ceremony will feature lighting of fires, offering of gifts, invocations to Hindu gods and sprinkling of holy water over the pavilion, which will be officially opened in September
Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium’s new Lotus Pavilion will be blessed at a special consecration ceremony on Saturday, 26 August, ahead of its official opening next month.
The ceremony for the pavilion, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and provides a unique pre-cremation site for Australia’s increasing South Asian Dharma community, will include a blessing by priests from the Australian Council of Hindu Clergy. Set in landscaped gardens, the Lotus Pavilion will offer Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh communities a place to carry out pre-cremation ceremonies.
It will also be available to the wider community for services of their choice.
“We believe this is the only pavilion of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere that will allow Hindu priests and family members of the deceased to carry out last rites at their own pace and in the way Hindu scriptures prescribe”
— Pdt Rami Sivan
The blessing ceremony will feature the lighting of fires, offering of gifts, invocations to Hindu gods and the sprinkling of holy water over the pavilion.
Pandit Rami Sivan from the Australian Council of Hindu Clergy said the pavilion would be an invaluable asset to Australia’s expanding South Asian Dharma communities. “Since we only cremate our deceased we do not require land for burial, but we find existing chapels are not suitable for our rituals,” Pandit Rami Sivan said.
“We believe this is the only pavilion of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere that will allow Hindu priests and family members of the deceased to carry out last rites at their own pace and in the way Hindu scriptures prescribe,” he added.
The pavilion has space for 120 people seated, together with additional standing capacity.
The Lotus Pavilion is the latest pro-active community initiative by Northern Cemeteries, a not-for-profit organisation which manages cemeteries at Macquarie Park, Frenchs Forest, Gore Hill and Field of Mars in Sydney and Sandgate Cemetery in Newcastle. “Northern Cemeteries is committed to providing the best service to people of all faiths and the diverse community we serve,” Pauline Tritton, Northern Cemeteries Metropolitan Trust Chief Executive Officer, said.
Anyone interested in attending the consecration ceremony, which starts at 11.00am, should email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Lotus Pavilion will be officially opened to the community at a ceremony at the Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium on Wednesday, 27 September. Northern Cemeteries hosts various community events at its five sites throughout the year and is committed to caring for the community in all its diversity.
For more information, visit www.northerncemeteries.com.au