The merit making is one of the auspicious ritual that has been practicing
among Thai society for a long time. This ritual is applied in many
ceremony for example, New House warming ceremony, yearly blessing ceremony for
the family, new office opening ceremony, Buddhist
ordination, and Wedding ceremony. This is a very important ceremony for the host
and the attendees as they are seeking the blessing from the monks. In the
past having the merit making ceremony used to be very easy as they can go
directly to the nearest temple. However, this era people are
least likely to acknowledge the overall process of the merit making to the
monks since they lead a busy life and might have some curiosity of how the
procedure should be done. Therefore, we have summarize
all the steps in this ritual as follow.
1. Select the day – mostly the date will be selected according to the auspicious day which followed by the lunisolar Buddhist calendar once the date is selected. The host shall send the invitation to the monks otherwise the monks will possibly be occupied with other ceremony.
2. Invite the monks- The host should invite an odd number of monks such as 5,7, or 9. The minimum should be 5 monks per ceremony except for the wedding ceremony where the bride side and groom side will invite separately in same amounts. Therefore, sending the invitation should indicate the exact date and venue, the transportation and the purpose of the ceremony or rituals so Monks can prepared themselves accordingly.
3. Arrange the venue and equipment
The merit making is very auspicious so the venue should be tidy and clean. The set of altar table should be placed in correct direction. There should not be anything hanging above the monks’ head and the table should be on the same side of Monks’ seating arrangement and facing out to the guests which should be the north face.
4. Arrangement for the monks
There are few things that we should provide for the monks as follows, Betel leaves, hot and cold water, and a bin pot. Moreover, there is
Lustral water is a traditionally part of the ceremony made from underground water contained in a bronze pot. Gold leaves, Bermuda grass and even lotuses may be placed in the bowl to increase its magical powers. So, the lustral water should be placed by right side of the monk.
5. Offering the meal to monks
Before we offering the meal to monks there are certain rituals should be done which are lighting up the candles in front of the Buddha statue and the chanting part for blessings. After that, the host will offer the meal.
6. Offering essential items to monks
When the meal is finished, The gift set usually contains with necessary everyday items (drinking water, soap, detergent, toothbrush, shampoo and comestibles such as biscuits or crackers). As well as these individual gifts for monks there is usually a sealed envelop which contains a donation to help support the temple.
7. Pouring water ritual – completing the entire ceremony by the water pouring ritual.