Allerzielen Alom

Funeral industry

A training programme for ritual counselors has existed for several years. There was a need for a new sort of “minister”, different from the traditional and religious one. Ritual counselors and Allerzielen Alom have been shown to be a good combination. They complement each other. Many have become involved in Allerzielen Alom celebrations, or have developed their own plans inspired by the publication.

Carrying out All Souls’ Day celebrations in a new style together with the funeral industry is not easy. The cooperation is often positive, but there are also large differences in interest. For the industry large numbers of visitors with are what count, and they should be manageable, which limits the room for individual expression. Still, they could profit quite a bit from an Allerzielen Alom celebration.

Cemeteries themselves are the stone archives of society. These locations are by definition cultural heritage since they mirror the community. There are places where we can reflect on our lives and where we can recreate them in silence. In that sense, the emptying of graves and the practice of cremation are a poor development. Our ritual landscape will steadily disappear. With Allerzielen Alom, these locations serve as the stage for everyone to commemorate their dead, regardless where they are buried or if they were cremated. It is a chance to involve these places more in life and to use them collectively.

Crematoria are an extra challenge because rituals surrounding cremation are still underdeveloped. Because there are no graves, it seems as if the traces of a human life are erased. A place is missing where one can return to in order to remember or to grieve. Allerzielen Alom can provide some compensation by creating a moment or place in time to commemorate and to come together. It works; even sober North Hollanders from Schagen were surprised how much it moved them. Is this what they were missing all this time?