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Whole Helsinki

Before the funeral

21.05.2021, 16:41
The death of a loved one is a hard and difficult event. Amid all emotions and questions, there are lots of practical matters to take care of. Funeral arrangements are the responsibility of close relatives, but remember you are not alone. You can always ask for help from your parish office or a funeral director. All undertakers provide coffins and urns, transport the deceased and take care of many other matters related to the funeral as requested by the family of the deceased.


The funeral service is usually held two or three weeks after death. In Helsinki, funeral services can be held any day of the week except for Sundays and Mondays. The funeral service can be held in a cemetery chapel, a church or at the grave. You can take care of a number of matters related to the funeral by visiting or calling the Burial Services (Hautapalvelut) of the Parish Union of Helsinki. Before burial, you will have to submit to the Burial Services a burial permit signed by a physician. At the Burial Services, you can also reserve a grave, book a chapel or a church, agree on the time of the funeral and arrange a cremation if you so wish.

Our online services (asiointi.helsinginseurakunnat.fi) enables you to reserve either a chapel or a church for the blessing of the deceased. At the same time you may reserve the parish home for the memorial reception after the funeral.

If you wish to hold the funeral service outside Helsinki, e.g. in the birthplace of the deceased, but your loved one will be buried in Helsinki, you have to book the burial at the Burial Services. There you can also make a contract for grave maintenance. If the deceased was a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the use of a church or a chapel is free of charge. Otherwise, a fee is charged. The services of the officiating pastor are free for everyone.

Contact with a pastor and a church musician

In the Helsinki metropolitan area, the funeral ceremony is usually officiated by a pastor from the deceased’s parish regardless of the location of the funeral service. If you personally know a pastor, you can also ask him or her to officiate at the funeral. It is important for the family of the deceased to meet the pastor in advance. In the meeting, you can plan the programme of the funeral and tell the pastor about the deceased and your own expectations. This is also a good opportunity to confidentially discuss any matters that you do not wish to be brought up at the funeral. At the meeting with the pastor, you can also process your emotions about your loss. The church musician of the chapel or your local parish is responsible for the music at the funeral service. You can choose the music together with the pastor or the church musician. They can help you choose suitable music. You can choose funeral hymns, hymns or songs that the deceased enjoyed, or any hymns related to the time of the church year.