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Book Review

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Reviews the book, "Do Funerals Matter? The Purposes and Practices of DeathRituals in Global Perspective" by William G. Hoy (see record 2013-10676-000). The purpose of this book, “is to assist in acknowledging the need for those [funeral] rites and understanding them” (p. 3). In the 10 chapters in this 208-page text, Hoy examines such topics as funeral practice history, common symbols, value of community, rituals and heritage, inclusion of the physical body in ceremonies, trends in funeral practices and businesses, and clinical values of funeral practices. Hoy’s book offers a brief history of funeral rituals and traditions, with greatest emphasis on the last 100 years. This survey of history and practice is clearly not comprehensive, yet it provides enough breadth of the various funeral expressions to effectively illustrate the book’s stated requirement for practitioners to be aware of diverse practices and needs of those dealing with death. This book is a valuable introduction for students going into the helping fields, for educators in helping fields, and for clinicians working with those dealing with death and funeral issues. The benefits will be especially valuable for clinical counselors and psychologists, hospice workers, chaplains, and spiritual counselors. "Do funerals matter?" Yes, and providers of all kinds will be better equipped to help their populations with this relevant resource from Hoy.


Originally published in PsycCRITIQUES

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