Allerzielen Alom

Allerzielen Alom* – The art of commemoration

Celebrating the life lived
Sooner or later everyone has to deal with the mystery of death. Whenever someone we love passes away, there is the initial grief. Later we realize that we were witnesses to a life which we loved. We can keep alive the inspiration, the thoughts and the meaning of those who have passed by celebrating the life which was lived. Do not silence the dead; celebrate them for who they were and what they can tell us.

A new style for All Souls’ Day
Allerzielen Alom provides the opportunity to remember the dead in a way which fits into modern society. It provides a new form for a tradition which was originally Catholic, but is not tied to any religion. Cemeteries are transformed into inviting places using light, flame, music, and art. Next of kin are given the opportunity to create a beautiful atmosphere at the grave. They can be assisted by artists and ritual counselors. Special places are designed which are open to all, since everyone has someone to remember. It doesn’t matter where the dead were buried or cremated.

Art as the driver for the imagination
Artist Ida van der Lee used the visual arts to develop Allerzielen Alom. Art as the driver for the imagination – which fits in with the mystery of death. Allerzielen Alom is refreshing and inspirational, and is for everyone. The most important values are respect, accessibility, and inspiration. The goal is that Allerzielen Alom will become a new tradition which can be picked up by all people.

A living tradition
A growing number of All Souls’ Day celebrations have been held around The Netherlands since 2005. The many reactions have shown that these celebrations have made a deep impression and fill an important need in society. There is a great desire for these to continue. The publication “Allerzielen Alom – kunst tot herdenken” (2008: “Allerzielen Alom – the art of commemoration”) resulted in a number of spontaneous new initiatives. Besides being a report, the book is easy-to-use guide.

Twelve celebrations are planned for 2009 under the name All Souls’ Day New Style. Four celebrations have been initiated by Ida van der Lee in the province of North Holland; however these are being carried out in cooperation with the local population. She is the consultant for the rest of the initiatives. In addition, there are seven celebrations planned under different names, but which were inspired by Allerzielen Alom.

* The Dutch name for this project, ‘Allerzielen Alom’, means literally, ‘All Souls’ Day for Everyone’. This is an unwieldy definition for a translation into English. Given that Allerzielen Alom is a registered trademark, it will be used throughout this English version of the website.