Mandatory interment in Germany

A short explanation of burials and cremations

A differentiation is made between types of funeral and forms of funeral. In choice of funeral type personal belief, religion and attitude to life all play a key role along with financial considerations. There is basically a choice between burial in the earth and cremation. Some forms, i.e. natural funerals, are preceded by cremation.

Until the end of the 19th century burial in the earth was the only option in Germany. This was due to the predominance of Christianity, which continues to hold sway in broad swathes of the country. Cremations were carried out for a variety of reasons and they are becoming increasingly popular. The reason most often cited by customers is cost. This varies according to size, location and local cemetery fees. For burial a slightly more costly coffin is usually chosen. This is because it is the focal point of the funeral service and also because the coffin should speed up the decomposition process in an earth grave. Prices for types of grave also differ.

Nowadays cremation services can also be conducted in church. They are accepted both by the Protestant and the Catholic churches.
In a cremation the body is incinerated in a coffin in a cremation furnace. It is not possible to dispense with a coffin because it accelerates the cremation process. In accordance with environmental regulations crematoria require a coffin with sustainable features to be used. The grave type options are the same for burial and cremation but there are additional choices for cremation about which we will be happy to inform you.

In Germany burial and use of a cemetery are mandatory, with specific legal requirements set down by the respective federal states.
Every deceased person and the ashes of a deceased person must be interred at a public place of burial with authorised facilities. In Germany it is not permitted to take ashes home or to scatter them outdoors. Under German law there is a minimum period of rest for coffins and urns which varies from region to region. This is to ensure that there are no mortal remains at the end of the period. The prescribed time also depends on the geological conditions of the cemeteries.

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