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Cultural & Religious Funeral Customs


Approaching the funeral of a friend from a society or faith community different than your own can be an anxiety-producing task, but gaining a sense of what to expect reduces that anxiety. The following sections have been written for Selected Independent Funeral Homes by the Reverend William G. "Bill" Hoy, DMin, FT. They provide insight into the lives of a variety of fictional families who have experienced a death, and they offer helpful resources for additional research. To read the stories, chose one from the list below:

You also can learn more about how educating yourself about different cultural and religious traditions can benefit you and those who are grieving a loss.




William G. Hoy, DMin, FT is the director of Texas-based Grief Connect, a Center for bereavement education. As an educator, author and counselor, he has walked alongside grieving people for more than 25 years. In addition to presenting more than 70 invited lectures each year to groups of caregiving professionals across the United States and Canada, Dr. Hoy teaches in the Medical Humanities Program, College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University.

Talk-Of-A-Lifetime

What people are saying about Selected members

"This is the first funeral I have helped plan. The most meaningful action was when Mom died and the person who came at 2:00 a.m. was wearing a suit and tie. That simple action—showing respect to the family and Mom's remains—is so appreciated. All the little extras Groce did for us were above expectations; they knew what we needed before we did and they had everything prepared and ready when needed."

– A.L.., Asheville, NC
Served by member firm Groce Funeral Home

Read more quotes from people Selected members have served.