Support and help in times of grief – no matter what religion
There are fixed routines for burials, from the time of death until the remains are laid to rest. These routines can be difficult to understand for people who are new in Sweden.
When a person dies, the first thing that happens is that a doctor must confirm the death.This happens most often at the hospital. A clergyman or imam is present to see that the procedures are carried out correctly and to give support and comfort to the relatives, says Francois Anougba, curate in the Swedish Church.
Shaaban Abo Zur, Imam in the mosque in Kristianstad, says:
– If the deceased person is Moslem, the vicar contacts me so that I can inform the relatives, or else the relatives get in touch with me to find out what needs to be done.
The first, and most important, thing is to see to the bereaved family. This is done by the vicar or the imam. The next step is for the family to contact an undertaker, who can give practical help.
– He helps with all the formalities in connection with the Death, with transport, a coffin and a Place of burial, and with flowers and a gravestone too,says Francois Anougba.
The undertaker also takes care of everything concerning the death with the Inland Revenue.
All religions have their own forms for the burial ceremony. For example, Christians are taken to a church for the funeral service, while Moslems are taken to a mosque or straight to a cemetery , where prayers are said for the deceased person. Before the funeral the vicar meets the family to find out a few details of the deceased person’s life, to be able to talk personally about him or her during the ceremony.
According to Moslem tradition, a dead person must be buried as soon as possible.
– Before the funeral we wash the body and wrap it in a shroud. We continue to comfort and support the bereaved family, and give them the opportunity to follow their own rituals when a death occurs, says Shaaban Abo Zur. The different religious bodis have different cemeteries.
– There has been a burial place for Moslems for the past 20 years. It belongs to the municipality, and is at Rödaled cemetery at Kulltorp, says Shaaban Abo Zur.
There are four cemeteries in Kristianstad, Östra cemetery, Rödaled cemetery, Gamla cemetery and one at Norra Åsum church. In addition there are plans for a columbarium beside Heliga Trefaldighet church in Kristianstad.
In the past most people chose to be buried in a coffin in a grave. Nowadays many people choose to be cremated. After cremation the urn containing the ashes can be buried in a grave, in a memorial garden (where the urn is lowered into the ground) or in a similar area, called an ”askgravlund”, where the name of the deceased, engraved on a small metal plate, is set up on a wall.
The ashes may also be scattered in a place other than a cemetery.