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1 Burnside Health and Medicine- Death and Dying

Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life


Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life

From the Foreward by Thomas Moore, Author, Care of the Soul

It isn't easy to live and die meaningfully in a society that has forgotten its natural religious roots. We think we're smart and sophisticated because we have outgrown the need for ritual and prayer. We have vanquished religion intellectually and are therefore surprised when, faced with death or illness or with the dying of a loved one, we don't have the answers to the basic questions. And so we have to learn all over again, remembering our traditions, if we're lucky enough to have had them, and looking for someone to help deal with mysteries we've ignored.

Megory Anderson covers most of the difficult questions associated with the act of dying and attendant care, and her recommendations are intelligent, inventive, and mercifully humane. She can tell us not to shock a relative by holding a drumming session at the deathbed if the relative wasn't into drumming. The basic principle here is very important: Don't confuse your own needs and enthusiasms (more often, neuroses) with the needs of the dying person. Megory is someone who obviously has a background in ritual and has spent enough years at it, with sufficient attention and skepticism, to know the real thing from the merely sentimental. I always get nervous when people talk about making up rituals, but this book, I'm happy to say, is a solid guide.

I've read quite a few books on dying, and one of the remarkable things that impresses me about them is how they teach me to live with care and appreciation. They are not at all morbid, and they are not for someone else.

They speak to me, as this book will speak to you. You can put its wisdom into practice today. After reading it for today, you can do what I have already done; Place it on a special shelf with a few other books that you can reach for easily when the angel of death passes close. This is one book to keep at hand, because you can be sure that one day you will need it.

Table of Contents


AcknowledgmentsForeword by Thomas MoorePreface

1. Journey with the Dying2. Returning the Sacred to the Act of Dying3. Rituals for Embracing the End of Life4. Traditions: Incorporating Religious Rituals5. Centering and Preparation: Sacred Space/Sacred Participants6. Letting Go of Burdens: Rituals to Release the Emotions7. Letting Go of the Body: Rituals to Comfort and Release8. Music: Healing and Transcendence9. When Loved Ones Are Not Present10. Dying Alone11. Intentional Death: Ending Life Support12. After Death: Until the Funeral

Appendix: Scriptures and Sacred Texts, Poetry, Readings, and PrayersBiography and Recommended ReadingsIndexPermissions and Acknowledgments

Product Details

Anderson, Megory
Random House
Roseville, Calif.
Death, Grief, Bereavement
Terminally ill
Rites and ceremonies
Spirituality - General
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Trade Cloth
xix, 364 p.
8.72x5.80x1.17 in. 1.26 lbs.

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Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Death and Dying

Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life Used Hardcover
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