A voice for newcomers in Sweden

A new kind of funeral? How religious rituals are changing in secular Sweden

Are traditional funerals a thing of the past? Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB Scanpix/TT

Published: 12.Sep.2019 13:42 hrs

Sweden is seeing a sharp rise in burials without a ceremony, writes Anne-Christine Hornborg, professor emerita at Lund University, in this opinion piece first published by The Conversation.

The number of people who bury their dead relatives without any official ceremony is increasing rapidly in Sweden, up from less than two percent a decade ago to eight percent this year. In many big cities, the bodies of about one in ten deceased people are transferred directly from the hospital to a crematorium, with the ashes often scattered or buried by staff in anonymous memorial parks.

According to The Swedish Funeral Home Association, which released the data, such burials are extremely rare in other countries. Although according to new data from the UK's largest funeral director, Co-op Funeralcare, they are also on the rise in the UK – with one in 25 funerals being direct cremations, perhaps inspired by the late musician David Bowie.

Read full article on The Local

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