More and more Norwegians are choosing private funerals. The Church is worried

GraveyardPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB

The Church of Norway is concerned by the fact that more and more people are opting out of church funerals. Many people want a private funeral because of the music.

In recent years, the Church of Norway has seen a decline in church funerals that can’t be explained only by the fact that more deceased belong to other religious denominations, according to newspaper Dagen.

“Many dioceses have pointed out that more people are choosing a private ceremony offered by funeral homes, without the Church or other denominations being involved,” department director Jan Christian Kielland in the Church Council noted.

He said church funerals have been declining since 1990.

Church funerals register decline

“The dioceses of Sør-Hålogaland, Nidaros, and Oslo have had a decline of between 4 and 7% from 2018 to 2019. 

“These are dramatic figures. Nationally, the decline is 1.8% in the same time period,” Kielland said.

Funeral consultant and ceremony leader at Fondus funeral home Heidi Ripnes said relatives use them a lot because of the music.

“The fact that music that the deceased had a relationship with can’t be played in the church is very sad. 

“That is why many relatives switch from a church to a personal ceremony,” she said.

Every year, around 41,000 people die in Norway – around 110 deaths every day, according to figures from Statistics Norway (SSB).

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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