Last Rites, Todd Harra
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Last Rites
The Evolution of the American Funeral

Author: Todd Harra

Narrator: T. Ryder Smith

Unabridged: 10 hr 27 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 08/02/2022


Author and undertaker Todd Harra shares a fascinating and oft-surprising exploration of the history and meaning of funeral rituals. Why do we embalm the deceased? Why are funerals so expensive? Is there a reason coffins are shaped the way they are? Where does the tradition of viewing the body come from? Ceremonies for honoring the deceased are crucial parts of our lives, but few people know where our traditional practices come from?and what they reveal about our history, culture, and beliefs about death. In Last Rites, author Todd Harra takes readers on a fascinating exploration of American funeral customs?exploring where they came from, what they mean, and how they are still evolving. Funeral practices are always changing?sometimes due to technology, respect for tradition, shifting sensibilities, or even to thwart grave robbers. Here you’ll learn about the ancient influences for American rites, how the funerals of political figures and fallen soldiers shaped our practices, answers to the most puzzling enigmas about the undertaker’s craft, and much more. The American funeral continues to evolve. Today, many people are turning to approaches such as green burial, mushroom suits, Aquamation (flameless cremation), and even composting. Whether you’re planning a funeral service or are simply intrigued by the meaning behind American burial practices, Last Rites is an informative and compelling exploration of the history?and future?of the ceremonies we use to say farewell to those who have departed this world.