German way of death

Charles Cowling

Interesting piece in the Earth Times on how Germans are doing funerals differently:

Germany is experiencing a new type of culture of bereavement. People are moving away from the classic funeral with a priest and familiar rituals to one that confronts grief and death in a more personal way.

“Germany’s funeral culture is experiencing fundamental change at the moment,” says Professor Norbert Fischer, a historian at Hamburg University. Fischer says a growing number of people want to decide what happens to their bodies after their death. The bereaved also want a less tense and cramped approach to the funeral ceremony.

This change is expressing itself in a number of very different ways. “On the one hand there is rapid growth in the number of anonymous burials. There is also growth in the type of place where funerals and memorial ceremonies are taking place,” says Fischer. In Germany there are over 80 forested areas, for example, where ecologically friendly urns can be buried beside trees.

There is also an increasing number of common graves. Fans of Hamburg soccer club can now find their final resting place at a plot close to the club’s grounds in Altona district. Members of the club “Garden of Women” can be buried alongside former famous Hamburg residents in Ohlsdorf graveyard.

Read the whole article here. The pic at the top is by Mike Egan.

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RICHARD NEWMAN

What the Germans possess is a wealth of Pipe Organs and a command of composition which stretches from Buxtehude through the Dynasty of Bach not to mention the Italian influences of the likes of Pachobel and it is my ultimate ambition to score an original work that is arranged with the specific temperaments of the Beast that is the Organ in Berlin Cathedral. I think that this would be an excellent way to mark the conciliation and burial of all hostilities between our two countries, and I do know what I am talking about because my bedtime reading is British… Read more »