Burial Practices in Switzerland

by L-Johnson

Switzerland has no official state religion but is predominantly Christian divided between the Catholic Church with 41.8% and various Protestant denominations at 35.3% of the population.

In Switzerland, the first thing to do upon a death is to call a local doctor who needs to certify the death and issue a document. This document is required to register the death, which must be done within two days at the registry office in the district where the death occurred. The burial or cremation can only take place once this has been completed.

Before the funeral, sometimes a card is sent out to those who knew the deceased, to inform of the death and the time and place of the funeral. Usually, however, the norm is to place an announcement in the local paper. These announcements sometimes ask for money to be sent to a certain charity in the name of the deceased. There is often an invitation to the funeral guests to join the family for a snack or meal at a local cafe or restaurant.

A superstitious practice in Switzerland is to take the tile off the roof where someone died, as this releases their soul. A strange practice that was common around the end of the 19th century was that the men would carry a lemon in their hat which they held under their left arm, and this lemon was placed ceremoniously in the grave with the deceased.
Read more:

Swiss Customs | English Forum Switzerland

Funeral Customs | Sacred-texts.com

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