Freie Bestattungsredner

Kirsch, Anja. (2006) Freie Bestattungsredner. In: Handbuch der Religionen, 1 (Kap. 11). München, pp. 1-10.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5260817

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In the twenty-first century, the traditions of handling death and mourning have changed. Funerals are no longer the exclusive responsibility of the institutional church, and the ritual culture has become increasingly plural. In Germany today, most undertakers offer their clients the opportunity to choose between church and extra-institutional funeral rites. With this, a new type of professional has appeared, the so-called free funeral celebrant. As there is no professional training available (and not even a common term denoting the field), the celebrants are not a homogenous group.
The article aims to sketch the field of funeral celebrants. The development of a secular sepulchral culture is traced historically, emphasizing aspects such as the relocation of cemeteries to the town’s periphery in the Early Modern Times, the emergence of mortuaries in the eighteenth century and the construction of crematories promoted by the nineteenth-century labour movement. Against the backdrop of this long-term development, the funeral director has become the expert in providing the ritual framework, as well as connecting relatives and celebrants in case of extra-institutional funerals. The distinct reasons for choosing such a ceremony—ranging from formal aspects, such as the lack of church membership, rejection of the liturgy or criticism of religion—potentially allow for a wide range of ritual designs. The article registers essential differences between extra-institutional funeral rites and church burials, comparing structural and content-related aspects, such as ritual language, music, and action. Though most extra-institutional funeral services are structurally based on the Protestant burial, the non-institutionalized framework allows for new interpretations of traditional ritual elements.
Faculties and Departments:01 Faculty of Theology
UniBasel Contributors:Kirsch, Anja
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Encyclopedia Article
Publisher:Günter Olzog
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Last Modified:27 Nov 2017 07:57
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:01

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