Contemporary American funerals often assume the character and roles of festival. This represents a paradox in conflict with traditional perceptions of ritual behaviors associated with death. Being a complex civilization made up of its own indigenous people and multitudes of cultures from around the world, the U.S. has reinvented the response to death. Instead of focusing on separation, death and the funerary rituals surrounding it have become a place for renewal and reaffirmed connectedness between family and friends of the deceased.
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