Why Do Funerals Matter?

Why Do Funerals Matter?
Type: Webinar
Presenter: Dr. William Hoy
Introductory - Intermediate

The issue that was stopping customers from purchasing this webinar has now been resolved. If you experience any further troubles, please email education@grief.org.au  (14/04/2020 11.10am AEST)

Webinar Overview

Rituals such as funerals, memorial services, and counselling activities can contribute to the aspect of meaning-making known as “legacy.” As bereaved individuals, families, and communities mark the experiences of death, these ceremonies can assist in the transition to a meaningful “new life” for the bereaved. A growing body of research points to the absence of rituals in the immediate aftermath of death as a possible risk factor contributing to complicated bereavement.

In his research into death-related rituals around the world and throughout history, Bill Hoy has discovered a set of core “anchors” that appear to be commonly held among diverse people groups: significant symbols, gathered community, ritual action, cultural heritage, and transition of the dead. In part because the utilisation of these anchors as media for telling the life story of the deceased, they collectively become instruments in establishing a narrative legacy of the deceased. In turn, this enables survivors to capture a stable post-death identity for their loved one. In addition to utilising these five ritual anchors in planning funerals and memorial services, they can also provide a model for counsellor-assisted ritual creation in psychotherapy.

This session will overview the practical application of Dr. Hoy's research but he will also pay special attention to the unique challenges posed to memorialisation in the wake of COVID-10 restrictions on mass gatherings. 

Learning Outcomes:  

  1. Explain the five anchors present in death-related rituals
  2. Describe how survivors create, maintain, and modify the deceased's legacy through ritual elements 
  3. Identify needs for continuing research on the role of funeral rituals in adjustment to loss

Presenter Bio: 

William G. Hoy, D,Min, FT

William G. Hoy, D.Min., FT, is clinical professor of medical humanities at Baylor University and an authority on the role of social support in death, dying and grief, especially through funeral rituals, the primary focus of his research. His career spans more than 35 years including nearly 17 years directing the community bereavement and pastoral care programs for a southern California hospice for more than 16 years. He has taught at Baylor since 2012. He is the author of more than 100 book chapters, journal articles and educational pamphlets and has authored six books, three of which remain in print.

Dr. Hoy is active in leadership of the Association for Death Education & Counselling and completes seven years on the board and association treasurer in April. He holds the Fellow in Thanatology (FT), the advanced practice credential in death, dying and bereavement. He is a frequently-invited keynote and workshop speaker, annually presenting more than 50 continuing education workshops and addresses for professionals in mental health, nursing, education, medicine, funeral service, and ministry.

Webinar Details


Tuesday, 21 April 2020


Victoria: 10:30am - 12:00pm AEST
New South Wales: 10:30am - 12:00pm AEST
Tasmania: 10:30am - 12:00pm AEST
South Australia: 10:00am - 11:30am ACST
Queensland: 10:30am - 12:00pm AEST
Northern Territory: 10:00am - 11:30am ACST
Western Australia: 8.30am - 10.00am AWST

If you're unable to attend at the scheduled time but you would still like to purchase this webinar please register and regardless of attendance at the scheduled time you will be sent a recording of the webinar to view at your leisure. This recording will remain available for three months.


  • Member - $50.00
  • Non Member $75.00

ACA Recognised Training

This webinar is an ACA recognised training. In order to qualify for OPD points with the ACA, participants must complete an online assessment within one-month of the live webinar date. The pass needed is 100%. Please note, any assessments submitted after this date will not qualify for a certificate. Certificates will only be generated for the person registered. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement reserves the right to cancel education programs that do not achieve minimum participation, in which case all fees will be refunded. Registration cancellations will not be accepted unless made in writing to the centre. Cancellations made more than thirty (30) days prior to the event date will be refunded less 25% of the registration fee to cover administration costs. No registration refunds will be made after this date. Please note: The full invoiced amount will still be payable in the event of non-attendance on the day.

Terms & Conditions

ACGB's program and program content is copyrighted. Its use and dissemination is restricted and unauthorised duplication is prohibited. Viewers agree to use the product under the purchase agreement terms, which restrict number of viewers based on registration type. Individual Registration - Provides one person, the registrant, access to the webcast or DVD for personal viewing. Multi-Viewer Registration - Provides one person, the registrant, access to the webcast for streaming from one computer to a group of people or the DVD for viewing at one location. CE Credits for this program may only be obtained through ACGB. CE instructions will be provided to the registered contact for the organisation (or to the registered individual) prior to the live air date and to attendees at the end of the program.


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