Funeral Ritual

Church of Sweden, organizing a funeral

Funeral Service

A Funeral Ceremony that is led by a priest in a chapell or a church is called a funeral service.

It´s already paid for through the church fee and is therefor free if the dead person was a member of the swedish church.

Priest and time for funeral service is not neccessary to book through a undertaker.


after the ceremony the relatives and friends often gather to remember the dead in an memorial.

Funeral organisation

The Church of Sweden is the head of  the funeral organisation in the whole country, exept in Stockholm and Tranås where the district is responsible for the organisation.

They are resposible for providing a graveyard, the cremation, the burial, and a location for the funeral ceremony. This is paid for with the funeralfee that everybody pays, wheter you´re a member in the church or not.


Funerals/year: ca 90 000.

Funerals according to the order of the Church of Sweden: ca 80%.

(jordbegravning) Burials: ca 24 000 (ca 120/day), ca 25 % of total burials

Thanksgiving service (tacksägelsegudstjänst)

One sunday after death a thanksgiving will take place in church for a member. The name of the deseased will be read in the end of the ordinary service and the assembly will gather in a short prayer while the church bells are ringing.

Differences between coffin grave, urn burial and memorial?(kistgrav, urngrav och minneslund?)

Coffin grave: non cremated body, and you rise a tombstone.Urn graves and memorials: body that has been cremated, the difference is that an urn grave is marked with a stone and while the memorial (minneslund) is anonymous.


if the body is going to be cremated, the coffin will be left in the church or chapell after the service. if the relatives want to carry out the coffin to a car, is that a service they have to be resposible and pay for. A funeral service can also be hold with an urn after the body has been cremated.Mainly when the death occured abroad.


A memorial is being held while waitin for a final clearence about a missing person. Can be held together for all missing after for example a catastrophe.

Also possible if the deseased not wanted a funeral service.

Farewell Service (Avskedsgudstjänst)

A farewell service can be held when a person is not found but has been declared dead Instead of a coffin or an urn there might be a picture of the deseased. the service is prepared by the relatives and a priest. Possible to have a tombstone even though there is no body.





Reinforce Cultural Identity

“In migration, death revitalizes a threat against a group maintenance that people constantly experience. It is therefore likely that a social group in exile will use funerary rituals in order to reinforce ethnic or cultural identity.”

Reimers, E 1999, Death and identity: Graves and funerals as cultural communication, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p149, Sweden, sited on 7th September 2011.


Sorrow letters



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