In life, when we make a promise to somebody, we have to honour our promises no matter what or how. Only when a promise is honour then we can live life with pride and dignity. And if we happen to break our promises, we will have to carry the broken promises for the rest of our life in regret.
The same goes to believers who have or may have, in front of the deity, make promises to the deity but unfortunately pass on, and have not been able to honoured their promises. The surviving family members, on behalf of the deceased, will have to engage a Taoist priest to do prayer to the deity to honour the promises on behalf of the deceased.
So, how do we verify whether the deceased had made any promise to the deity? By right there isn’t. Unless you are aware beforehand that the deceased had made such promises to the deity or the deceased had requested for your help to honour the promises made before he or she passes on, there is no way to find out.
Therefore, the Taoist priest usually chants to honour the promise on behalf of the deceased followed by prayers to send off the deceased. This is to ensure that the deceased will not bear any burden that violates the promise and not able to leave peacefully.