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Over 200 attend requiem for Covid-19 victims in HCMC

By Quynh Tran   November 18, 2021 | 03:30 am PT
Buddhist monks and nuns were joined by followers at a requiem to commemorate those who have lost lives to Covid-19 on Thursday.
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The requiem was organized at Vietnam Quoc Tu (National Pagoda of Vietnam) in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10.
The event was limited to 200 attendees. Everyone must get a rapid coronavirus test on the spot and complete the health declaration procedure before entering the main hall, which could hold up to 1,000 people.

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The requiem started at 8 a.m.
Chairs were placed far from each other to ensure social distancing.

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The event commences with a mass ceremony.
Monks and nuns carry the gong and mallet along with a bowl of burning agarwood to the altar.

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Attendees observe a moment of silence for those who died in the pandemic.

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Leaders of the HCMC Buddhist Sangha and city authorities go to the altar to offer burning incense to Gautama Buddha and start the prayer, which lasts for 10 minutes.

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A monk holds a mala bead while praying. The event is held online for Buddhist followers to join at home.

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Thich Thong Duc, abbot of Phu Hoa Pagoda in Tan Binh District, attends the requiem.
"The pandemic has left a great loss and a lot of pain. According to Buddhist beliefs, losing lives in a situation like this pandemic is abnormal and the victims really need help for their spirits move on," he said.

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After the mass, attendees recite Amitabha Sutra for 45 minutes, followed by a ritual to give offerings to the spirits.

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Many attendees are people who have lost their loved ones to Covid-19.

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Phan Thi Xuan Truong, who lives in Tan Binh District, bursts into tears while praying.
Her mother, 72, had passed away due to Covid-19 in the latest outbreak in HCMC. "I pray for the soul of my mother to rest in peace. I hope the pandemic will soon come to an end so that everyone can have their normal life back."

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A woman named Manh Tu The Hong, 67, prays outside the main hall. Her mother, 93, died of Covid-19 two months ago.

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The requiem ended after more than two hours. Vietnam has recorded more than 23,337 Covid-19 deaths, with over 17,133 in HCMC. Most victims had lost their lives during the latest Covid-19 wave that broke out in late April.

 
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