Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.
Chapter 61: Practices Surrounding the Dead in French-Speaking Belgium: Rituals in Kitlike Form
Practices Surrounding the Dead in French-Speaking Belgium: Rituals in Kitlike Form
Evolution of Funeral Practices in Belgium in Recent Decades
As in other European countries, funeral practices have changed in Belgium in recent decades. In urban areas, traditional practices, including wakes, funeral hanging, mourning clothes, and funeral processions behind the hearse, have almost completely disappeared, and new practices have emerged. On the whole, this evolution can be characterized by what Jean-Hugues Déchaux (2000) calls the “intimatization”1 of ...