Do Funerals Matter? is a creative interweaving of historical, sociocultural, and research-based perspectives on death rituals, drawing from myriad sources to create a picture of what death rituals have been; and where, especially in the Western world, they are going. The Classic Edition includes a new preface from the author reflecting on changes in the field since the book’s initial publication.
Death educators, researchers, counselors, clergy, funeral-service professionals, and others will appreciate the book’s theory- and research-based approach to the ways in which different cultural groups memorialize their dead. They will also find clear clinical and practical applications in the author’s exploration of the five ritual anchors of death-related ceremonial practice and help for professionals counseling the bereaved surrounding funerals. Based on nearly four decades of research and teaching on funeral rites, this volume promises to fill an important gap in the cross-cultural literature on bereavement, while answering an important question for our generation: Do funerals matter?