Practices of Ritualization in a Dutch Hospice Setting

Kim Weegen, Martin Hoondert, Agnes van der Heide, Madeleine Timmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this article we explore rituals and ritualized care practices in a hospice in the Netherlands. The research is guided by two research questions. First, we want to know what kind of rituals and ritualized care practices are taking place in the hospice. Second, we aim at understanding these practices from a cultural perspective, i.e. to what cultural values do this practices refer? We distinguish five types of ritual: (1) care practices in the morning; (2) meals; (3) care practices in the evening; (4) care practices in the dying phase; (5) a farewell ritual after a patient has died. Ritualization takes place in various degrees and forms depending on changes in the state of liminality. Analysis of ritualized care practices show that everyday care practices are enriched with non-instrumental elements that have a strong symbolic meaning, referring to the cultural value of the ‘good death’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)571-580
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2020


  • Rituals
  • hospice
  • spirituality
  • cultural analysis
  • good death


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