‘Dedication of Merits’ is a Buddhist practice whereby one performs a noble, meritorious deed in kind memory of one’s departed relatives. One performs such wholesome deeds in honour of loved ones who had passed away by thinking: “Idam me ñātinam hotu, sukhitā hontu ñātayo.” – “Let this merit accrue to my departed relatives; may they be happy!”
We can uphold this attitude and practice especially during this ‘Qing Ming ’ period (清明节), when many Chinese families perform prayers in honour of their ancestors and departed relatives. Instead of merely burning ‘paper money’ and ‘paper offerings’, we can truly OFFER our charity and services to help those in need. In so doing, we get to cultivate our good character and at the same time acquire ‘merits’, which can then be dedicated to our departed relatives.