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Remembrance and Hope in Roman Catholic Funeral Rites: Attitudes of Participants Towards Past and Future of the Deceased

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In this article the authors focus on Roman Catholic funeral rites, and investigate how the past and future of the deceased are reflected in the attitudes of participants at these funerals. The main question of the article is: In what sense are past and future of the deceased represented in Roman Catholic funerals today, as reflected in the attitudes of participants? Past and future are aspects of memory. According to Jan Assman, rituals have a unique possibility to enact different types of memory through which a "we-identity" is shaped. The theoretical framework of Assman is used to describe the anamnetic-epicletic nature of Roman Catholic funeral liturgy. On the background of this theoretical framework the results of a research are described into the attitudes of more than 220 participants of Roman Catholic funerals with regard to past and future of the deceased in the Netherlands.


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