First official pagan cemetery in a millennium
December 19, 2008
Pagan religion welcomes the first cemetery for worshippers of the old Norse gods
The first official pagan cemetery in more than 1,000 years has been established in a public graveyard corner in Odense, Funen.
While not officially opening until 7 February, members of Denmark’s recognized pagan community Forn Sidr have welcomed the move that will create space for 80 graves.
Forn Sidr has more than 600 members nationwide and follows the concept of ásatrú, or worship of the old Norse gods such as Odin and Thor. It was first recognized as a religious community by the Danish ministry of ecclesiastical affairs in 2003.
The 800sqm cemetery is located at the council-owned Assitens Graveyard and features an 18-metre long stone in the form of a Viking ship. Encircling the grassy area are a number of standing stones, to which a plaque can be fixed to commemorate the dead, as no headstones will be used.
The vice-president of Forn Sidr, Søren Fisker, said that members would hold their own private religious ceremony to mark the opening of the cemetery in February. He added that not all asatruars can be buried in the Odense plot.
‘The facility should be seen as a pilot project that may act as a groundbreaker for similar projects elsewhere in the country where there is a desire for a heathen cemetery,’ said Fisker.
There is already another pagan cemetery being planned for the Århus area.
Three Christian graves that already exist at the site will remain, as the descendants have all given their blessing to the new venture.
Source: Copenhagen Post