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Funeral expectations in sweden.

roch
post 7.Apr.2008, 05:30 PM
Post #1
Joined: 28.Aug.2007

Am going to a funeral on Friday and am just wondering if there are any things I should be aware of that normally happen in a traditional Swedish funeral.

Am I expected to take something? I already have a card, but a donation or flowers...
I have heard a rumour that everyone has to go to a lunch thing afterwards...
This is the first funeral for Mr Swedish also so he hasn't got a clue.. and its not really appropriate at the moment to ask his close family members...
Also will be meeting quite a few of his family members for the first time so really don't want to do anything that would offend!
Tack.
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Puffin
post 7.Apr.2008, 05:38 PM
Post #2
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

It is usual to ring the number on the press anouncement to the funeral home and inform them you will be attending (catering).

It is usual to take a single flower (like a rose or something) as well as any other flowers you might send to place on the coffin at a particular moment in the service where the vicar asks people to come forward and say their goodbyes.

Sometimes there is a clue in the press announcement about whether the family want a donation to a charity instead of a funeral bouquet from relatives (although you should still take the single flower).

There is usually a "do" afterwards - often in the church hall or a nearby restaurant. Usually it is something simple like open snadwiches/salad. Close relatives and friend make speeches.
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Mzungu
post 7.Apr.2008, 05:42 PM
Post #3
Location: South Africa
Joined: 29.Aug.2004

More info if you are interested?

http://www.thelocal.se/discuss/viewtopic.p...swedish+funeral
http://www.thelocal.se/discuss/viewtopic.p...ghlight=funeral
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roch
post 7.Apr.2008, 05:43 PM
Post #4
Joined: 28.Aug.2007

eeeeeeek... we are the family... its his grandmother... will get him to call his sister I think... especially about the flower thing...
I know we have confirmed with his mum about going for catering...
None of his family live where we live... he just seems a bit detached about it all... and I am the one fretting about doing things right... :?
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deb
post 7.Apr.2008, 06:43 PM
Post #5
Joined: 1.Jul.2007

I don't think you'll be expected to say anything, but I went and stood with my husband when he placed a flower on the gravesite and spoke at his aunt's funeral. Other family members said nothing at all -- just placed the flower, so I guess it's just what you're comfortable with.
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Sofia_stockholm
post 7.Apr.2008, 07:10 PM
Post #6
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 12.Nov.2007

I went to a funeral in the UK and it was all a bit different from the ones here, so I understand you're feeling a bit insecure.

Before the service you have a florist send a wreath to be placed by the coffin. It may be that you and your partner are already included in the one from his mum, check. Otherwise go to the nearest florist (Interflora usually has outlets close to churches and chapels) and order a wreath. Lillies or carnations are popular funeral flowers, especially the white.

If it's a close relative (a grandmother is) you're supposed to wear sombre clothes. Usually there is some kind of note in the ad if the family wants the attendees to wear something else, but if there isn't then navy blue, brown, dark grey and black are all quite correct. Apart from wedding/engagement ring, the only thing appropriate to wear would be pearls, if they are discrete. Otherwise, no jewellery.

In church the family occupies the first rows. At one point of the service everyone passes round the coffin, not like in UK funerals where it's only the closest ones who do this. Some people like to stop and say a few words, others don't. You place a small flower on the coffin as you go past.

After the service the guests usually get coffee and something to eat, but not always. Check with mum.

Hope hat helped!
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roch
post 7.Apr.2008, 08:00 PM
Post #7
Joined: 28.Aug.2007

Thanks Sofia... I'm nervous because I wont be able to really understand whats going on.. now that I sort of know what to expect I can at least make sure I do the right things.. will check with Markus about the wreath!
Thanks for everyones contributions...
I have not been to a funeral since 1991... and that was in NZ so again different expectations from here.

I'm hoping for the blend in approach...

tack again everyone. smile.gif
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Puffin
post 7.Apr.2008, 08:13 PM
Post #8
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

I can sympathise with trying to blend in. I recently had to attend a similar do in Denmark for a relative of Mr. Puffin - it's tough when you don't really understand what is going on - I tried to adopt a generally sympathetic expression and nod sympathetically when people spoke to me and hope for the best.

I didn't mean to scare you about the speech thing - it does not usually include grandchildren - often partner, adult children (sometimes) and perhaps best friend (the Danish one included a speech from the deceased's best friend from the boy scouts - i thought it a bit strange given that the man was 87 - but never mind biggrin.gif )

As it is a family funeral you should get your sambo to check with their mum about the clothing - none of the Swedish funerals I have attended have had black or especially dark clothing - the last one I attended in Stockholm stipulated "light bright colours" and the deceased's granddaughter wore jeans and a pink top.
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007
post 7.Apr.2008, 08:40 PM
Post #9
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

QUOTE (roch)
eeeeeeek... we are the family... its his grandmother...


i've now done a number of swedish funerals. the hubby had 3 living grandparents when i got here. added to that list was a great aunt, my SIL's MIL and my own FIL. i'm in the running with Mrs. Kennedy.

if it hasn't been said, your swede is expected to wear a white tie. they're on sale at every clothing store like Kapp Al.

i never heard the "no jewelry" thing, so thanks sofia. my swedish family isn't purist traditionalist, so we've had kids at the funerals where it would be taboo normally.
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Sofia_stockholm
post 8.Apr.2008, 08:09 AM
Post #10
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 12.Nov.2007

[quote="007"][quote=roch]

i never heard the "no jewelry" thing, so thanks sofia. my swedish family isn't purist traditionalist, so we've had kids at the funerals where it would be taboo normally.[/quote]

My family are big on the etiquette stuff, so these things get drilled into you from an early age. I'm not sure there is a taboo about having children present, though. I don't think we've had any, but then there hasn't been any funeral where any person of an age where they have small children has passed away since I was too young to go myself. I can check it out for you, though... Grandmother is a fountain of wisdom about these things.
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evakaram
post 8.Apr.2008, 09:56 AM
Post #11
Joined: 8.Apr.2005

I was interested in the white tie requirement. The Asians also have white as their mourning colour. Is black not the colour of mourning in Sweden?
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Tim Harrison
post 8.Apr.2008, 10:29 AM
Post #12
Joined: 17.Sep.2006

Black is the mourning color here too. However, white ties are worn by men very close to the family, while other men wear a black tie.

Women should not wear pearls to a funeral, but instead a charcoal necklace.

My MIL knows "everything" about what to wear and not to wear at Swedish funerals. :roll: :roll:
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007
post 8.Apr.2008, 10:32 AM
Post #13
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

QUOTE (evakaram)
I was interested in the white tie requirement. The Asians also have white as their mourning colour. Is black not the colour of mourning in Sweden?


it is. i don't get the white tie thing but as we've followed it. white tie is for immediate and close family. the hubby wore white to grandparents and father. i think he wore a regular tie to great aunt and a regular tie for his sister's MIL.

while, his BIL wore black to all grandparents' funerals (though now i have to look at pics for mormor Signe --she was beloved by all and i think he wore white for that. ) i think black to the FIL's funeral. he of course wore white to his mother's.

*wipes brow with color confusion
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Djinghis
post 8.Apr.2008, 11:22 AM
Post #14
Joined: 10.Jan.2008

its also ok to use "parade uniforms" if you are a police offiver or a soldier. At my grandfathers funeral there were lots of old officers and policemen.
I dont remember too much about the ceremony, mostly the priest talking and people walking one by one to the coffin and laying flowers on it.

afterwards youll go somewhere to fika, if its a classic funeral the priest will join you.
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Sofia_stockholm
post 8.Apr.2008, 03:02 PM
Post #15
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 12.Nov.2007

QUOTE (Tim Harrison)
Women should not wear pearls to a funeral, but instead a charcoal necklace.

My MIL knows "everything" about what to wear and not to wear at Swedish funerals. :roll: :roll:


Pearls are correct for a traditional formal funeral in Stockholm. There may be slight variations in custom depending on region and socio economic group, though.

These days it hardly matters since plenty of people opt for asking the guests to wear light colours and I have even seen the nearest relatives wearing red at one funeral.
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