The following article appeared on the soc.religion.bahai board on 
Internet and is reposted with permission:
From: (Thomas Rowe Psychology)

                        BAHA'I BURIAL

There are three laws currently binding on the American Baha'i
community for burial.  I should note in passing that the Universal
House of Justice (UHJ), the supreme governing body in the Baha'i
Faith, has the power to decide which laws are binding in various parts
of the world and which are not yet binding.  We are heading for a time

when all laws are binding on believers everywhere, but with the
current differences in culture, the UHJ is allowing a grace period in
some cases.
The first law is that the body must be buried, not cremated.
According to Abdu'l-Baha, there is still some connection, however
tenuous, between the soul and the body following death and the
destruction of the body, which used to be the throne of the soul, is a
shock to the soul.  In keeping with that, the body is to be treated
with respect and dignity befitting with the station of the earthly
home of the soul.  Abdu'l-Baha also wrote:
     "....But the divine order formulated by heavenly ordinance is
     that after death this body shall be transferred from one stage
     to another different from the preceding one, so that according
     to the relations that exist in the world, it may gradually
     combine and mix with other elements, thus going through stages
     until it arrives at the vegetable kingdom, there turning into
     plants and flowers, developing into trees of the highest
     paradise, becoming perfumed and attaining the beauty of
     color." (1)

The second law is that the prayer for the dead, a special prayer used
for this purpose only, be recited as congregational prayer.  This
means that one person recites the prayer while all present stand in
respectful silence.  This is the only congregational prayer in the
Baha'i Faith.  Beyond this, any funeral service should be simple and
dignified, usually consisting of prayers and readings from holy text
rather than an oration.
The third binding law in the West is that the body not be trans-
ported more than one hour's travel from the place of death.  In the
Kitab-i-Aqdas, the book of laws, Baha'u'llah stated:
     "It is forbidden you to carry the body more than one hour's
     distance from the town; bury it with tranquility and cheer in
     a nearby place." (2)
The form of transportation is not specified.  As I understand it, the
meaning behind this law relates to the fact we are all part of one
global family and the entire planet is our home.  Therefore, wherever
we are when we die is our home.

There are three other ordinances which are not yet obligatory in the
West, but which nearly all Baha'is attempt to follow.  The first is
that the body should be wrapped in a shroud of silk or cotton.  .
Secondly, a burial ring should be placed on the hand that states "I
came forth from God, and return unto Him, detached >From all save Him,
holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate."  The last
is that the body should be buried in a coffin made of crystal, stone,
or a hard, fine wood.
One interesting side note to this is that we should avoid embalming
where state law permits.  I have read accounts of the embalming
process, and while I don't want to offend any morticians or to suggest
they treat bodies with anything other than respect, the process itself
does not seem dignified to me.  In any case, modern embalming does not
prevent decay of the body but is a disease control measure.  If the
family will accept a sealed coffin funeral, there should be no need
for embalming.  Rather, the body should be washed and shrouded and the
burial should take place within one day if practical.
There are no specific formats for funerals other than these.

Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith, wrote:
     "The National Spiritual Assembly should take great care lest
     any uniform procedure or ritual in this matter be adopted or
     imposed on the friends.  The danger in this, as in some other
     cased regarding Baha'i worship, is that a definite system of
     rigid rituals and practices be developed among the believers."
Finally, while the passing of a loved one touches those left behind
with deep pain and sorrow for their loss, the Baha'i view of a death
is that of rejoicing.  Another soul has winged its way to the Abha
Kingdom and is on a journey to its Lord.  Baha'u'llah wrote many
passages about this, but my favorite is from the Hidden Words, Arabic
# 32:
     I have made death a messenger of joy to thee.  Wherefore dost
     thou grieve?  I made the light to shine on thee its splendor.
     Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?"
1.   Star of the West, Volume XI, No. 19, Page 317.  Quoted in a
     letter from the UHJ dated June 6, 1971.
2.   Kitab-i-Aqdas, quoted in an unpublished compilation, "Extracts
     on Baha'i Burial," included with a letter written on behalf of
     the UHJ, March 25, 1984.
3.   Principles of Baha'i Administration, P. 14.