In Daoist belief and ritual texts, human life is seen as ephemeral.
During funerary rites, a complex series of rituals are undertaken to release the soul and send it onwards.
During ritual, after Breaking through the Hells, where the priests symbolically open the gates by breaking a block with a wooden cane, and gather the souls of the dead, the next rite to be performed is Scatter Flowers
The music to this prayer is a lilting, uplifting tune which compares human life to the life of flowers – a beautiful expression, blooming then gone.
The priests sing the names of flowers and during the course of the rites scatter flowers which have been placed on the altar.
Fragrant flowers linger in all the ten directions
we respectfully invite the Spirit Ancestors to receive our prayers
is the opening chant of the funerary rite Scatter Flowers and Communicate with Spirits.