Buddhist music generally falls into two categories: Buddhist ceremonial music and popular music with Buddhist subjects or adapted from Buddhist ceremonial music. Buddhist ceremonial music will be introduced here as follows:
Reading Class in the Morning and Evening:
Reading class is held once in the morning and evening, respectively, in the same form and procedures but different in content.
Buddhist Ceremonial Services
This type of Buddhist services is a series of activities to celebrate the birthday of Buddha and Bodhisattva, including Buddha's birthday, converting date, the date of being enlightened, and Nirvana date, Bodhisattva's birthday, converting date, the date of being enlightened, and date of death commemoration, etc. For instance, the Buddha Bath Festival on every lunar April 8 is to celebrate the birth of Sakyamuni. According to Buddhist records, when Sakyamuni was born, dragons spurt scented rain to bathe Sakyamuni. Therefore his disciples bathe his statue with all kinds of scented water when they celebrate Sakyamuni's birthday.
Procedures of Bathing Ceremony
1). Gather together all monks; 2) greet figures of Buddha; 3) send figures of Buddha back, while singing sutra; 4) put figures of Buddha on the pedestal, and bathe it with scented water, while singing sutra; 5) the presiding person addresses participants; 6) go around the figures of Buddha, while singing sutra; 7) make proclamation, while singing sutra; 8) conclude the ceremony, while singing sutra.
Universal Relief Buddhist Service
This type of Buddhist service is held for people to confess his sin to the God, to wish for a good fortune and a longer life, or to save people from sin and get rid of evil. The main forms include class work (reading and reciting sutras in class), confess sins according to doctrines, yoga flame mouth (a ceremony used to release souls of the dead from purgatory), and water and land Buddhist service (a ceremony to release all souls in the water and on the land from purgatory.