Muslim funerals in the cemeteries of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa parishes
The cemeteries of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa have separate burial areas for Muslims:
• Helsinki: Honkanummi cemetery (burial plots only for residents of Helsinki)
• Espoo: Kellonummi cemetery (burial plots for residents of Espoo and other municipalities)
• Vantaa: Ruskeasanta cemetery (burial plots only for residents of Vantaa)
Burial plots for Muslims are meant for burial in a casket.
Burial permit and booking a funeral
You always need a burial permit. The burial permit is issued by the doctor who conducts the investigation of the cause of death. The doctor gives the permit to the person organising the funeral. The permit can also be given to the funeral home if the family of the deceased wishes.
The funeral home or the family must send the burial permit to the Lutheran parish that administrates the cemetery. You can mail the burial permit, bring it to the office or scan and e-mail it.
To book a funeral, contact the Lutheran parish that administrates the cemetery.
The parish usually arranges the funeral within three working days. If the deceased died on a weekend or holiday, arranging the funeral may take 5–7 working days.
Contact a parish cemetery office to book a funeral.
Casket and transport of the deceased person
The family of the deceased purchases a casket and transport services from a private funeral home.
You can find a list of funeral homes on the website of the Finnish Association of Funeral Homes www.hautaustoimistojenliitto.fiLinkki avautuu uudessa välilehdessä.
A funeral prayer can be recited before the internment of the deceased. The prayer can take place either in the cemetery or at a Mosque, hospital or somewhere else. The funeral prayer can be recited by the family of the deceased or their imam.
Internment and filling the grave
A verger welcomes the funeral procession to the cemetery at the agreed time on the funeral day. The verger guides the procession to the burial plot.
The verger brings ropes for lowering the casket into the grave. The grave is dug east to west, parallel to Mecca. The casket is buried so that the deceased is facing Mecca. The casket should be marked to indicate the position of the face of the deceased.
There are shovels on the gravesite for filling the grave. The family of the deceased can fill the grave themselves if they want. If the grave has supporting structures in it, it is filled only halfway or so that the casket is covered in dirt. Cemetery workers will remove the supporting structures and fill the grave after the funeral.
There is also a ladder at the grave for a child’s funeral. Usually a family member lowers the deceased child into the grave using the ladder.
A funeral is not free. The parish and funeral home charge according to the up-to-date tariffs. The funeral home charges for the casket and transportation of the deceased person.
The parish charges the person organising the funeral for the burial plot and the funeral. The person is responsible for covering the funeral costs.
See up-to-date tariffs on the parishes’ websites:
www.vantaanseurakunnat.fi (in Finnish)Linkki avautuu uudessa välilehdessä
www.helsinginseurakunnat.fi (in Finnish)Linkki avautuu uudessa välilehdessä
www.espoonseurakunnat.fi (in Finnish)Linkki avautuu uudessa välilehdessä
If the property left by the deceased does not cover all funeral costs, your city’s social services can help in covering the costs.
You can place a monument on the grave after the funeral and funeral costs are paid. A grave monument is not mandatory.
Send a written plan of the grave monument to the cemetery office for approval. You cannot place the monument on the grave before the approval of the cemetery office.
The following instructions explain the maximum sizes of a grave monument. The monument can be smaller than stated below. The address where to send your grave monument plan is found after the maximum sizes.
• For a grave 1 m wide, maximum size of the monument: width 80 cm, height 75 cm and depth 20 cm.
• For a grave 0.7 m wide, maximum size of the monument: width 40 cm, height 50 cm and depth 15 cm.
• The monument can be smaller.
• Notice! You must place a stone base under the monument in the cemetery block 77. The block 76 already has a stone foundation for the monument.
• Send a written grave monument plan for approval to the e-mail address email@example.com or to the cemetery office.
• Maximum size of the monument: width 100 cm, height 100 cm and depth 15 cm.
• The volume of the monument must not exceed 150 litres.
• The monument can be smaller.
• The stone base must exceed the monument’s size by at least 5 cm on all sides.
• Send a written grave monument plan for approval to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Maximum size of the monument: width 80 cm, height 90 cm and depth 20 cm.
• The monument can be smaller.
• You must place a stone base under the monument. Maximum size of the base is 90 x 30 x 30 cm.
• Send a written grave monument plan for approval to the e-mail address email@example.com.
Holder of a right of burial
Family members choose among themselves a holder of the right of burial. The chosen person is usually the widow or widower, a child or a parent of the deceased.
The holder of the right of burial takes care of funeral and graverelated issues. The holder of the right of burial
• is a contact person between the family and the parish
• takes care of grave maintenance fees
• takes care of the maintenance of the grave.
Rent of a burial plot
One burial plot is for two caskets. According to the law, the grave plot can be used again after 20 years.
The rent period of a grave plot is 25 years. The rent period can be extended. The cemetery administration charges for rent extensions according to the upto-date tariffs. The parish sends a letter to the holder of the right of burial when the rent period is close to ending. If the parish does not have the contact person’s contact information, they place a note of the ending rent period on the grave.
If the family of the deceased do not wish to extend the rent period, the burial plot is released to the parish and can then be used in the burial of another deceased person.
Maintenance of a grave
The grave must be cared for. The family of the deceased can bring flowers and candles to the grave. The holder of the right of burial is always responsible for the maintenance of the grave.