Green Party wants to abolish coffin requirement

At tonight’s meeting of the town council the Green Party in Oberursel will be putting forward a motion to abolish the requirement for bodies to be put into coffins before they are either buried or cremated.

The motion will also ask for the town the find out whether it is possible to offer burials in accordance with the Muslim burial tradition at one or more of the cemeteries in the town.

“Death is a part of life and a community should make it possible for both the deceased and the next of kin to grieve according to their own moral concepts”, Councillor Lars Stockmann explained.  The party is of the opinion, that in a pluralistic society with different religions that these different concepts should also be considered in the funeral options available.

The new Cemetery and Funeral law that came into force in Hessen on 1st March, 2013, allows local authorities to allow burials without coffins “on religious grounds”.  The Green Party would now like to see this approved in Oberursel, whilst at the same time considering aspects of hygiene necessary to protect the living population.

“Considering life as a whole is an important aspect for successful integration” claims Christina Herr, chair of the parliamentary group.  The Green party wwant Muslims who have lived their entire life in the town to be able to be buried here in accordance with their own faith.  “We hope for a broad consensus in the town council” both Christina Herr and Lars Stockmann confirmed.

According to Wikipedia, the Islamic funeral ritual includes bathing the corpse before it wrapped in a simple plain cloth.  The grave is to be perpendicular to Mecca, with the body lying on its right side and facing in that direction.  Other towns that have approached the subject have in particular had to deal with the short time frame given for the burial to take place and the need for the plot to be reserved for longer than is normally the case in the town’s cemeteries.


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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