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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. Death educators, researchers, counselors, clergy, funeral-service professionals, and others will appreciate the book's theory- and research-based approach to the ways cultural groups memorialize their dead. They will also find clear clinical and practical applications in the author's exploration of the five "ritual commonalities" of death-related ritual practice, and help for professionals counseling the bereaved surrounding the funeral ritual. Based on nearly three 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?