Most cultures have traditions that manage the transition from life to death. This can include practical routines – for example, on how to dispose of the body. These might include religious or other spiritual rituals in which one says goodbye with prayer, songs and speeches. However, these could also be more secular or multi-religious arrangements that combine elements from different traditions. Migration and globalization processes are making knowledge about practices on death steadily more important. This article presents an overview of the ceremonies most often encountered in Denmark today: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu/Buddhist and the secular funerals advocated for by Humanistisk Samfund (The Humanist Society). A special focus will be put on the phenomena Sjælesorg (literally: soul grief). The question is how the different forms of sjælesorg implied in the different traditions might help the bereaved deal with the complex of emotions that death can trigger. The challenge is what we can learn from this.

Keywords: soul grief, decease, religious and secular procedures