Tuesday, January 15, 2008

FUNERAL: Mourning Rituals of the Amish

Bryer, Kathleen. “The Amish Way of Death: a Study of Family Support Systems.” American Psychologist (March 1979): 255-261.

Bryer examines how the Amish cope with death, their funeral customs and mourning rituals (which are basically the same as those of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Americans), personal experiences with death, and the Amish family and group structure. She uses the Lancaster community as her setting. She demonstrates that the Amish, with their strong religious convictions, belief in an eternal, heavenly afterlife, and the closeness and presence of family and community during old age, times of sickness, and death, aid the Amish in preparation for and coping with death. The Amish, somewhat ahead of the rest of us, have for over 300 years, used mutual help groups and grievance support systems for survivors. The article is particularly insightful for one wanting information on Amish funeral customs and for alternative ways of coping with the death of a loved one.

Courtesy of "All I need to know about the Amish: Sociological, cultural, and religious studies"

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