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Speaking to mourners

The evolution of funeral sermons

When Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's On Death and Dying burst upon the world in 1968, hospital chaplains and those who trained pastoral counselors were among the first to endorse it. The psychological framing of death and dying with labels such as "denial" or "depression" was not a problem for pastoral counselors well accustomed to Carl Rogers.

Almost immediately after the publication of On Death and Dying, the pastoral care and counseling experts moved into the area of grief and loss. By the mid-1970s, works such as Death and Ministry: Pastoral Care of the Dying and the Bereaved, edited by Donald Bane, and Pastoral Care and Counseling in Grief and Separation, by Wayne Oates, showed how smoothly the basic framework of Kübler-Ross could be adopted by clergy.

 

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