== '''German Funerary Customs and Practices''' ==
How is the deceased to be buried:
in a coffin and in a grave? Is the body to be cremated, put in an urn and rest in a wall? Will the grave be anonymous? How long is the deceased to occupy a grave? Traditionally people were buried in church yards and their graves would remain there forever, provided it was looked after. The time came when the church could or would no longer maintain all graves. The local administration then provided plots outside the city/village boundaries. The graves there would be rented for a certain time (15 to 30 years).
In the past, the dead were buried by different rules. Before mortuaries and undertakers, neighbors and friends helped out. The body was washed, dressed and laid out in the parlor. People mourned their dead by wearing black. According to some practices a widow had to wear black 1-5 years (some wore it for the rest of their life). Parents and in-laws were required to wear black for 1 year, so were children. Grandchildren wore black for 6 months. Germans differentiate between “tiefe Trauer” and “stille Trauer” showing by outward signs how the death of a loved one affects them and what importance they thought they must place on the burial ritual. Most people could afford to only bury their dead without elaborate ceremonies and have the death registered in the local church book. Many of these entries consist of one line, giving very scanty information.
Burial records are kept with the local cemetery administration. They are usually under the jurisdiction of the city and can be found under category “Bürgerservice” (service to citizens), “Friedhof” (cemetery), “Grünflächen” (open space) etc. The records contain death and burial date of the deceased, age, relationship to father/ husband/ wife and the number of the burial plot in whatever cemetery.