Ceremonial Leaders and Funeral Practices: The Role Relationships of Clergy and Funeral Directors in Newfoundland

Emke, Ivan (1999) Ceremonial Leaders and Funeral Practices: The Role Relationships of Clergy and Funeral Directors in Newfoundland. In: Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association Annual Meeting, June 1999, Sherbrooke/Lennoxville, QC. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In the Western Christian tradition, the primary ceremonial leader of a funeral was the local clergy. However, with the rise of the professional funeral industry, funeral directors emerged as a second group of ceremonial leaders. These individuals orchestrate the preparation and disposal of the body, and are increasingly involved in providing "aftercare" for families. This paper analyses the conflicts which might occur between these two professions, both of which organize the marking of death in our culture. After a discussion of sociological research on this role conflict, the paper presents data from a 1999 mail survey of clergy in Newfoundland and Labrador. The survey covered the clergy's own reflections on their interactions with funeral professionals. The paper concludes with observations on how changes in one profession's terrain can influence the operation of other, closely aligned, professions.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/94
Item ID: 94
Keywords: clergy, funeral directors, ceremony, roles
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > Division of Social Science > Sociology
Date: June 1999

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