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.

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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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."


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


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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