Gathering to remember the deceased one

After the funeral service relatives and friends may gather together for coffee or a meal in some kind of funeral reception or memorial service. Relatives may arrange this in church facilities or at home or elsewhere. The use of church facilities is free of charge when the deceased one was a church member, but there is a fee for using dishes and tablecloths owned by the church. The pastor and church musician take part in the gathering if the relatives invite them beforehand. Written condolences (adressit) are read at the occasion, and memories of the deceased one can be shared in various ways.  

The congregation remembers its own

When the deceased one was a member of the Lutheran church, his/her name is read and prayers are said in the Sunday service of his/her congregation usually on the Sunday following the funeral service. At the same time the congregation prays for the bereaved relatives. If the funeral service takes place somewhere else than Espoo, it is the task of the relatives to make sure that the parish office of the home congregation is notified.

On All Saints' Day (pyhäinpäivä), observed in Finland on the Saturday between the 31st of October and the 6th of November, each congregation holds an evening service to read again the names of all parishioners who have died in the past year and to light a candle in remembrance of each of them.  


All churches in Espoo ring their bells on Mondays at 4 PM for parishioners who have recently passed away. If relatives want a separate ringing of bells to announce the death of their loved one, they can ask for that, too - and this can also be arranged through the Service Center.

Support for the bereaved

Local congregations arrange groups led by pastors and diaconal workers in which people who have lost loved ones can meet each other and share their experiences. Congregations also provide personal counseling so that you can speak privately with a church worker if you need that. More information from the Service Center or your own local congregation.

The tomb

Every resident of Espoo has a right to a gravesite in a church cemetery here regardless of church membership. A gravesite can be leased only after a death has occurred. The lease of a gravesite, the digging of a grave, and a burial of a coffin or ashes are all matters to be agreed upon with the Service Center of the Lutheran congregations. There you can also arrange for maintenance of the tomb. If you wish to mark a grave with a tombstone or some other kind of monument, plans should be discussed with the cemetery gardener. Forms and instructions for making such plans are available in the Cemetery services office (contact information on back cover).

In Espoo, new sites for burial of a coffin (casket) are available at the Kellonummi cemetery. New sites for interring an urn are available at the urn cemeteries of Tapiola and Gräsa and the Kellonummi cemetery. Specially designated gravesites are available for veterans of war.

After a cremation ashes may also be interred without an urn. A gardener can place the ashes in a grove under a grassy turf at the Gräsa urn cemetery, the Cathedral churchyard or the Kellonummi cemetery. At all cemeteries it is also possible to inter ashes in a dignified manner in a biodegradable wrapping. Plain ash can be scattered onto a lawn at the grove in Gräsa. In the non-confessional section of the Kellonummi cemetery ashes can be scattered onto a lawn or a wooded area. Urns interred in the ground must be made of material that will decompose. Urns made of durable material are used when ashes are placed in a columbarium; this is possible in the urn cemeteries of Tapiola and Gräsa.

For persons who were not residents of Espoo, a gravesite for the interment of a coffin or urn can only be leased from the Kellonummi cemetery. If interred without an urn, however, the cremated remains of such a person may be placed in a grove (see above) or scattered in Gräsa onto a lawn.

The scattering of ashes or interring them in a grove or urn are less expensive than burying a coffin in the ground. Contact the Cemetery services office to ask for fees, or see this link (in finnish).

Contacts information

Arrangements concerning the mode and place of burial, tombstones, funeral services and the use of church facilities at funerals are made with the Service Center (palvelukeskus) of the Lutheran congregations.

Cemetery services

Phone 09 8050 2200

Fax 09 256 7212

Registry certificates for estate inventories
Phone 09 8050 2600

Reservations for a funeral service
Phone 09 8050 2601

Street address:
Kirkkokatu 1, 02770 Espoo.
Postal address: PL 200, 02771 Espoo  

Pastor in the office
Phone 09 8050 2602

Office hours
Mon-Fri 9 AM to 3 PM

After the funeral.