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Old 07.11.2009, 21:57
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Why no funerals in Switzerland?

SWMBO (and her coven) commented on the fact they've never seen a funeral here, in a combined 15-20 years in country. Another mate's Swiss girlfriend could not answer either. Just went "...er..."

We were abroad last week and saw 2 hearses in 2 days + we saw the Brit soldiers on TV at RAF Lyneham.

So, what happens to the deceased:
- Take them to the recycling centre?
- Biweekly collection ("bring out your dead")
- Sent to Eastern Europe?
- Composted?

Discuss
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  #2  
Old 07.11.2009, 21:59
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

When my mother in law died, we had a ceremony at the crematorium. There was no procession, and I got the feeling it was not a common thing here to have one.
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Old 07.11.2009, 22:11
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

Funeral processions became sort of unpopular already decades ago, don't ask me why. The last one I attended was about 20 years ago.

None of gbn's options is true, but they sure sound interesting. Actually the normal procedure these days is what evilshell mentioned.
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  #4  
Old 07.11.2009, 22:18
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

I've noticed that,where-ever the funeral service, cremation/burial, afternoon tea/whatever else it may be properly called, take place, they are all within walking distance from one another. Therefore, no need for a procession.

The Church bells pealing mournfuly, on a week day at two-0-clock, are a good indication that there is a funeral being held.
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Old 07.11.2009, 22:58
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

i also noticed this!!! we live in a tiny rural town and i've only seen two processions in the last almost 2 years, and as we have quite a large altersheim, i found it 'intriguing'...also, both processions were on foot, from the church to the graveyard all in black - until them i also metally created the list the op offered, but my ideas of being pushed down the reuss in a wooden cano at midnight...
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Old 07.11.2009, 23:03
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

You simply need to get out and meet more old people. They do obviously tend to have a habit of popping their proverbial clogs on a more reliable and consistent basis than your current circle of friends or family. I've only been to one funeral this year, an average would be about 3 to 4 a year. They are fairly similar in protocol in Switzerland: meet at grave at 2;00pm, minister waffles a bit, go to chapel and sit through deceased's life story, family members say their piece (cry at appropriate moment) and then you go home or free nosh up if you're close friend or family member. Get home, swear you'll change your ways and live your life differently from now on, which is promptly forgotten less than 48 hours later and life goes on (repeat indefinitely....)

Last edited by Rabina; 25.11.2009 at 17:47.
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Old 07.11.2009, 23:29
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

I go to one about once a year. Very similar to Rabina's story except we our local funerals are usually in the morning and family and friends go out for a "brunch" or lunch after the funeral. Although it's a sad time, it's also a good time to catch up with the living.

A year later, we'll sometimes meet up again and enjoy another brunch after the mass.

All paid by the deceased, of course, Personally, I've always been grateful to have a chance to see my relatives again even under such tragic circumstances.
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Old 07.11.2009, 23:40
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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You simply need to get out and meet more old people. They do obviously tend to have a habit of popping their proverbial clogs on a more reliable and consistent basis than your current circle of friends or family. I've only been to one funeral this year, an average would be about 3 to 4 a year. They are fairly similar in protocol in Switzerland: meet at grave at 2;00pm, minister waffles a bit, go to chapel and sit through deceased's life story, family members say their piece (cry at appropriate moment) and then you go home or free nosh up if you're close friend or family member. Get home, swear you'll change your ways and live your life differently from now on, which is promptly forgotten less than 48 hour later and life goes on (repeat indefinitely....)

Gee! I almost pisst in my pants laughing at this one . I was siting down to
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Old 07.11.2009, 23:52
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

It is fairly controlled by the state. For my mother's funeral I was offered a couple of dates. A minister and an organist were designated and that was it.
I got to pick the music and the flowers...

I bypassed the obligatory brunch and had a much nicer dinner in the evening at a hotel on the lake. That was a big scandal.
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Old 07.11.2009, 23:59
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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SWMBO (and her coven) commented on the fact they've never seen a funeral here, in a combined 15-20 years in country. Another mate's Swiss girlfriend could not answer either. Just went "...er..."
Has your mate's Swiss girlfriend never been to a funeral of a friend or relative?

Just check your local Amtsblatt (official gazette, in Kloten probably 'Klotener Anzeiger') for a list of upcoming funerals. If you visit a larger cemetery, for example the one in Zürich Sihlfeld, you might even stumble upon a funeral without any further planning.

Martin

P.S.: Toilet city? Airport city!
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Old 08.11.2009, 00:03
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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It is fairly controlled by the state. For my mother's funeral I was offered a couple of dates. A minister and an organist were designated and that was it.
I got to pick the music and the flowers...

I bypassed the obligatory brunch and had a much nicer dinner in the evening at a hotel on the lake. That was a big scandal.
Is this not mandatory in Switzerland???
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Old 08.11.2009, 01:20
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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SWMBO (and her coven) commented on the fact they've never seen a funeral here, in a combined 15-20 years in country. Another mate's Swiss girlfriend could not answer either. Just went "...er..."

We were abroad last week and saw 2 hearses in 2 days + we saw the Brit soldiers on TV at RAF Lyneham.

So, what happens to the deceased:
- Take them to the recycling centre?
- Biweekly collection ("bring out your dead")
- Sent to Eastern Europe?
- Composted?

Discuss
Funerals in Switzerland ?

A) the person is preserved in the "preservation hall", beautifully made up, so that friends and relatives can bid farewell
B) if a cremation is wanted, it is done in a cremation centre
B2) the urn or the body is discreetly moved to the cemetery
C) there is the actual burial ceremony at the grave
D) there is a "service" done either in the cemetery chapel or in a church, and generally the bells of the relevant church are rung

--- it is different in case of Jewish and Muslim burials, where the deceased is carried to the cemetary within 48 hours (less than a day in theory) for burial. In many cases the deceased is airfreighted to Israel or his Muslim country of origin for actual burial, but a remembrance service will be held here in Synagogue / Mosque

what is not done is any kind of "procession" as such would be seen as theatrical gesture, and a public disturbance

The usual thing is that after the remembrance-service (Christians, Jews, Muslim), the "hard-core" of the congregation shifts to a remembrance meal. There again may be a deviation. For instance you can have, as happened in case of my Godfather in Geneva, the whole procedure A-to-D in Geneva, but the meal in honour of the deceased three months later in Rüschlikon near Zürich.
-
When the wife of him died some years later, the "hard-core congregation" after A-to-D embarked to a restaurant far away from the cemetary at the French border as far west as the Republic of Geneva goes.

But all such things are visible and not secret

Last edited by Wollishofener; 08.11.2009 at 01:32.
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Old 08.11.2009, 01:29
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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It is fairly controlled by the state. For my mother's funeral I was offered a couple of dates. A minister and an organist were designated and that was it.
I got to pick the music and the flowers...

I bypassed the obligatory brunch and had a much nicer dinner in the evening at a hotel on the lake. That was a big scandal.
When my mother died in mid-08, I
-
A) went on visit to the (Mrs) Reverend to talk with her about the details of both burial and remembrance-service
B) spoke at length with the organist and selected the music ("Grosser Gott wir loben Dich" and as the burial was on the Quatorze Juillet and my mother always felt closely linked to the French Republic, the "Marseillaise" played on the organ)
C) on invitations I stated the desire of my mother "no one in black ! " )
D) I met with the restaurant manager of the restaurant I chose and fixed the details
E) a cousin of me invited the "younger" (between 35 and 58 only ! ) after the remembrance-meal to his own restaurant for some wine-tasting
F) the city provided a big stretch limousine for a good part of those arriving by train, free of charge, forth and back
G) but upon arrival, we all together had a small snack in the bistro in the HB main hall towards the exit Landesmuseum
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Old 08.11.2009, 01:31
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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Has your mate's Swiss girlfriend never been to a funeral of a friend or relative?

Just check your local Amtsblatt (official gazette, in Kloten probably 'Klotener Anzeiger') for a list of upcoming funerals. If you visit a larger cemetery, for example the one in Zürich Sihlfeld, you might even stumble upon a funeral without any further planning.

Martin

P.S.: Toilet city? Airport city!
Most cemetaries have at least one burial per day, in peak times up to three or four burials per day even !
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Old 08.11.2009, 01:50
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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what is not done is any kind of "procession" as such would be seen as theatrical gesture, and a public disturbance
Maybe a procession would qualify as a "Manifestation" and therefor require a permit. I doubt you could get permit approval from the local government in less than a week.

Of course, isn't a funeral a theatrical gesture? I know that my father's was. Bag Pipes, precession, limousines, lots of readings and dinner. It was sad but it was nice. Funerals aren't for the dead, the are for the living. I guess, in the end, it's whatever floats your boat.

Brian.
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Old 08.11.2009, 08:25
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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SWMBO (and her coven) commented on the fact they've never seen a funeral here, in a combined 15-20 years in country. Another mate's Swiss girlfriend could not answer either. Just went "...er..."

We were abroad last week and saw 2 hearses in 2 days + we saw the Brit soldiers on TV at RAF Lyneham.

So, what happens to the deceased:
- Take them to the recycling centre?
- Biweekly collection ("bring out your dead")
- Sent to Eastern Europe?
- Composted?

Discuss
Buried (cremated or not) in a picture-postcard cemetary, lovingly attended to and surrounded with flowers in a garden-like setting, then dug up 25 years later to make room for the next inhabitants (no kidding, there are hundreds of old tombstones lined up in a shed at the outskirts of my village). Graves, like most other things, are rented here.
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Old 08.11.2009, 08:48
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

Freaky coincidence. Between my first post above a few hours ago and now there has been a death in the family. I am flying to Switzerland on Monday for the funeral...
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Old 08.11.2009, 09:05
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

The truth behind the lack of Swiss Funeral is even more disturbing....




"Soylent green is people!!!!!!!!!!!"

On the serious side, the newspaper said that more and more people select the crematorium.
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Old 08.11.2009, 09:47
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

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Freaky coincidence. Between my first post above a few hours ago and now there has been a death in the family. I am flying to Switzerland on Monday for the funeral...

Oh no! I'm very sorry for your loss!
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Old 08.11.2009, 09:49
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Re: Why no funerals in Switzerland?

This is the time you find out who has been paying their Church Tax.

Apparently, this includes a "proper" send off when you pop your clogs. maybe this includes "paid" mourners as well?

For people like me and my wife who were trying to save a couple of grand a year on this, it will probably be a quick trip in a Mobility Combi to the local burning house or try and stuff the body into a 120 Litre black bag with 5 green stickers from Volg and hide it in the middle of the other rubbish sacks on a Friday morning.
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