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KimMiyoung

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KimMiyoung

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Written prayer

Written prayers recited at rites for the gods of heaven and earth or the deceased. Jemun originated from written prayers to prevent rain or disaster. Originally prayers to deities, they changed in nature after the Middle Ages into prayers praising the deeds of the deceased and expressing grief over their death. As such, jemun from ancient times deal with reverence or respect for the deities and ancestors and obedience to them. A Korean prototype of such a text is “Jemangmae-ga” (Kor. 제망매가, Chin.

Korean Rites of Passage

Temporary spirit tablet

Temporary spirit tablet of a deceased person made of white fabric for use at funeral rites before the sinju (Kor. 신주, Chin. 神主, spirit tablet) is made. Honbaek is a type of sinwi (Kor. 신위, Chin. 神位, spirit tablets) where the spirit of the deceased temporarily resided. In traditional funeral rites, the ancestral spirit is transferred to different objects in three stages until it is completely entrusted to the sinju, the spirit tablet proper. The first step is to transfer the spirit of the decease

Korean Rites of Passage

Rite for a single ancestor

Memorial ceremony held to commemorate the death anniversary of only one ancestor. The act of placing the ancestral spirit tablets on the ritual table for an annual memorial rite is called seorwi. This act is divided into two types according to the number of the tablets. One is danseol, which is a rite held for a single ancestor on his or her death anniversary, and the other is hapseol, which is a rite held for two ancestors regardless of their death anniversary. On the death anniversary of a par

Korean Rites of Passage

Rite for ancestors honored in perpetuity

Annaul memorial rites held in perpetuity for an ancestor under the permission of the state in reognition of that ancestor’s achievements or distinguished service to the country. It was necessary for a family head to continue to keep the spirit tablet of his third great grandfather or beyond in the family shrine if that ancestor had performed meritorious service for the state or was famed for great academic achievements, and to hold annual memorial rites in his honor regardless of the tradition o

Korean Rites of Passage

Family shrine

The shrine where ancestral spirit tablets are kept. In Korea, the Confucian shrines started to become wideapread when the Joseon Dynasty adopted Neo-Confucianism as the ruling ideology. The dynasty encouraged ruling class familities to set up Confucian shrines in the belief that the shrine and the ancestral spirit tablets were key factors in establishing a system of burial and memorial rites based on Confucian ideology. Initially, active encouragement and support from the state did not lead to a

Korean Rites of Passage

Arrangement of food offerings

The process of arranging jegu (Kor. 제구, Chin. 祭具, ritual implements), jegi (Kor. 제기, Chin. 祭器, ritual vessels), and jesu (Kor. 제수, Chin. 祭需, ritual offerings) to be used during an ancestral rites ceremony. Jinseol, as preparation for a memorial rite, is the procedure of setting ritual implements, vessels and food offerings upon a table. During the table-setting procedure, spoons and liquor cups are first arranged along with fish, po (Kor. 포, Chin. 脯, dried meat), fruits and vegetables, food item

Korean Rites of Passage

Lit. combined service

Honoring two or more ancestors together in a single memorial rite. There are largely two types of hapsa. One is where memorial rites for biwi (Kor. 비위, Chin. 妣位, ancestral tablets of the deceased mother and older generation female ancestors) are skipped and instead held together with the memorial rites for gowi (Kor. 고위, Chin. 考位, ancestral tablets of the deceased father and older generation male ancestors). The other is honoring the deceased ancestors together at a single memorial rite held on

Korean Rites of Passage

Memorial rite for an ancestral couple

Honoring gowi (Kor. 고위, Chin. 考位, ancestral tablets of the deceased father and older generation male ancestors) and biwi (Kor. 비위, Chin. 妣位, ancestral tablets of the deceased mother and older generation female ancestors) together in a single memorial rite. The arrangement of sinju (Kor. 신주, Chin. 神主, spirit tablet) on the offering table for the annual memorial rite is called seorwi (Kor. 설위, Chin. 設位, lit. placement of a spirit tablet), and is divided into two types according to the number of ta

Korean Rites of Passage
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