Open coffin burials are common

Burial - procedure and costs at a glance

What is a burial?

Burial is the most traditional type of burial. The body is buried in a coffin in the ground. In Germany, this type of burial can only be carried out in a cemetery. A funeral service is just as possible as a silent funeral. In Islam and Judaism, burial is the only possible type of burial.

© Kzenon -

Cemetery compulsory in Germany

In Germany there is compulsory cemetery. Thus, the burial of the coffin is only possible in a cemetery. For some forms of cremation, there are exceptions to the cemetery obligation, such as sea or tree burials. There are no exceptions to burial in the ground. In Germany, a burial can be carried out 48 hours after death at the earliest. In addition, there is a mandatory coffin. This means that the burial takes place in a coffin. An exception is the Muslim burial, which provides for burial in white linen cloths.

Saying goodbye to the open coffin

Usually the coffin is laid out in the funeral hall during an earth burial so that the relatives can say goodbye to the deceased one last time. It is quite common for the coffin to be open so that relatives can see the deceased one more time. For the preparation of the corpse at an earth burial, an experienced thanatopractor is required, who guarantees an aesthetically and hygienically perfect laying out of a deceased. At burial, the deceased can wear their own clothes. Only shoes and belts are not allowed in many cemeteries.

Carrying the coffin to the grave

© Eugen Thome -

After the funeral service, the coffin is carried to the grave in the funeral hall, usually by employees of the cemetery. Then he is let into the grave site intended for the deceased, and the relatives can say goodbye one last time. Since the coffin is clearly visible to all mourners, the choice of the coffin is an important decision. The chosen undertaker can inform and advise the bereaved about the available range of coffins. After the burial, the grave site will be given a public sign.

Possibility of an anonymous burial

Anonymous burial is also possible in some cemeteries. In this form of burial, the burial takes place in a communal grave. The coffin is buried in a designated anonymous place and is not individually marked with a tombstone or memorial stone. In some cemeteries there are also anonymous individual grave sites. There the relatives have the opportunity to close the area with an unlabeled stone slab.

Burial costs

The costs for a classic burial in the coffin can be very different. The differences depend not only on the services included in the funeral, but also on the region in which the funeral takes place. In addition, the choice of coffin or tombstone can cause large price differences. In addition, there are the cemetery fees, which are different in each cemetery. Because of the higher cemetery fees for the larger coffin graves, burials tend to be more expensive than cremations.

Prices for a burial in your city

Few people protect themselves from funeral costs with death benefit insurance or funeral provisions, and so the extent of the burial is often a question of cost. By comparing different undertakers, it is possible to reconcile an inexpensive and at the same time dignified burial.

The average prices of the funeral itself can be found in the table or you can find it specifically on and compare it with other undertakers in your area or across Germany.

Burial lowest price Highest price
Germany 699 € 5450 €
Berlin 750 € 5450 €
Hamburg 999 € 4360 €
Munich 1185 € 3851 €
Cologne 699 € 3851 €
Dresden 1160 € 3851 €
Source: / Status: 17.08.2017