According to recent figures from Sifo, many people celebrate the Feast of All Saints, and interest is even growing. Almost half (48%) of Swedes intend to visit a cemetery or memorial during the Feast of All Saints this year. Interest is as highest in the counties of Örebro, Kalmar and Värmland.
The Sifo survey shows that almost every other Swede (48%) intends to visit a cemetery or memorial in connection with the Feast of All Saints this year. More women (54%) than men (43%) stated in the survey that they intend to visit a cemetery or memorial. The same question was also asked just prior to the Feast of All Saints last year. At that time, 44 per cent of those surveyed intended to visit a cemetery or memorial during the Feast of All Saints, an increase since 2016 of four per cent.
“When candles light up our cemeteries, it remind us of those we have lost. But we can relive our memories in different ways and in different places. Talking about someone whom we held dear, a photo or thinking about what we had together may be equally important,” says Ingrid Edgardh, a priest in the Church of Sweden with long experience as a hospital chaplain.
Slightly fewer than one-third (30%) stated that they would not be visiting a cemetery or memorial during the Feast of All Saints, and a good one-fifth (22%) stated that they were uncertain as to whether they would or not.
Greater numbers in the counties of Kalmar, Värmland and Örebro
Residents of the counties of Kalmar (58%), Värmland (56%) and Örebro (59%) stated more frequently that they intended to visit a cemetery or memorial in connection with the Feast of All Saints. People who live in Västra Götaland (40%) stated more frequently that they would not visit a cemetery or memorial. Residents of Uppsala county (31%) and in Skåne (28%) were more frequently undecided than other areas about whether or not they would visit a cemetery or memorial this weekend.
During the Feast of All Saints, many people remember their loved ones who are no longer with us in some special way. The grief and sense of loss that comes after someone has departed from our lives can sometimes weigh very heavily. That is why the Church of Sweden has developed First Aid for Grief, a number of practical tips to help us as fellow human beings to be available to those who are bereaved.
First Aid for Grief is available on the website (brochure and poster) and contains suggestions on what to do and how you can support a grieving relative or friend. These suggestions are based on the Church of Sweden’s many years of experience in responding to and supporting the bereaved, and is intended as an aid during the period just after death strikes.
In connection with the Feast of All Saints, over 100,000 brochures and candles will be handed out at parishes around the country.