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What's it called when after a funeral...

Last post Aug 09, 2012 5:35 PM by Roen1969 . 53 replies.


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  • What's it called when after a funeral...
    ...family & friends of the deceased gather for a meal & visit w/ each other? Is there a specific name for that which is recognized by most people?
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    It is called a wake and an important time to speak fondly of the departed.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    It is called a wake. I remember as a child when my grandmother died I could not understand how everyone was standing around eating, drinking and laughing when my grandmother just died. Learned as I got older that it was a celebration of her life.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    It isn't called a wake. A wake is something that happens before the funeral, when everyone kind of watches over the body. After the funeral there is often a more festive gathering of eating and basically having a good time. I went to one not too long ago and they are a nice tradition; kind of takes the edge off the previous few days. I don't think that event actually has a name though or that there is a word for it. But I don't think it's a wake and have never heard it described as such.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    OOPS...I stand corrected and need to apologize. I didn't read the original post carefully enough before posting my first one. I thought you were talking about eating and celebrating after the funeral, not before. Since you made no such distinction, it is indeed called a wake and I erred in my reply. Most of those gatherings that I have attended, however, were held immediately after the funeral services, not before. If they are held after the services they are not called wakes as far as I know.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    This may be one of those things that's very regional.

    Around here, a 'wake' is usually held the night before the funeral, they're usually ethnic in nature (more common in some ethnic backgrounds than others, that is), and are loud, wild parties where everyone ends up drunk. The term specifically is used to refer to a drinking party.

    After the funeral, it's customary for the family to invite the guests to a meal. Most, if they're casual friends, decline, but the close friends and family gather after the trip to the cemetary to eat and remember the deceased. Used to be that those gatherings were in someone's home, with everyone bringing something (a ham, a salad, a casserole, etc). But these days, it's become much more the norm to go to a restaurant. I don't know that it has any specific name--generally just referred to as the 'funeral lunch' or the meal after the funeral.

    But as I say, funeral practices can vary from place to place, culture to culture.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    I've always known the "wake" to be the part of visiting the family at the funeral home ... and the gathering after the actual funeral service, at someone's house, to be called the reception. At the funeral home we use back in Ottawa they've built a separate "Family Reception" area.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    Here in central Illinois it is called a Funeral Luncheon. Most of the time it is put on by the people of the church and held in the church hall. I have worked at many of them at church. Some guests bring food if they chose but in our church the church ladies bring the food and serve it to the family and friends. Roast beef, ham, casseroles...just like a big pot luck. It is a very nice thing for the family after the funeral, especially if it is a morning furneral.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    Here in this rural area it is held at the church following the funeral and called a reception for the family. Ladies from the church provide sandwiches, jellos and cakes and everyone sits around and visits with the family. We've been hearing people calling visitation at the funeral home a wake lately. Don't know why.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    From WI here.....we have "wakes" as they have been called since I was a little girl. The body is at the funeral home with the family and you go an pay your last repects. In the paper it is call "visitation". Also in our rural communities they have started to have the wake or visitation right at the church...less runnning around for the family. After the funeral and the trip to the cemetary their is a meal......the family puts on the main part...from broasted chicken down to sandwichs..it is whatever the family wants and can afford. Friends and family members bring in salads...hot dishes...cake and or bars.

    At our funerals more so in the last 15 years....the family displays pictures of the deceased and or certain items. Like when my mom passed away...my 4 brothers thought it would be wonderful to display her quilts...so they set up her wooden frames and we tacked her finsihed ones to it and it was the back drop behind her casket and also drapped one over the coffin. We had her other personal things by her....when she was so sick she had a small foot stool with a bell...rosary..prayer book and kleenex on it all the time...that is how it was there to. Alot of the funeral homes in our area also have gone from the dark dungon looking rooms to very bright and light and open. We are very fortunate to have very caring and gentle funeral directors who do they job so well in helping with the families...in all situations!
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    I doubt the dead person cares what you call it.



    Grazer
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    Hadaplan, you were right the first time. The title says "after a funeral".

    I've never known it to have a specific name.

    I thought a wake was sitting up with the body overnight before the funeral.
    Where I'm from we have visitation the day/night before the funeral. That is at the funeral home and everyone comes to visit.

    Actually, from the time of death people visit the family, bringing food and drinks so the family doesn't have to cook for the next few days.

    Then after the funeral, there is usually a meal for the family and friends, sometimes at the church, sometimes at someone's home. The minister will announce at the end of the funeral that all are invited to this.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    grazer........when my mom was dying from cancer...she planned her funeral from how much to pay the priest...right down to what we were to serve for the meal....when I asked what she wanted to wear..she said what do I care...I will be dead! She had a great sense of humor and taught us how to die with dignity and face it head on!
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    Funeral luncheon here. And we serve funeral potatoes.
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  • RE: What's it called when after a funeral...
    Tree said most of what I intended to say! lol

    Yes, in olden times (around here, anyway), the dead were never left alone. Back in my Granny's time (and my mother remembers this as well), the deceased was brought back to the house in the casket and "laid out" in the front room of the house. Someone - usually a few of the men - stayed awake all night in the room with the deceased. This went on until the person was laid to rest - someone always near the casket. The funeral home I used when my first husband died allows families to stay at the funeral home 24/7 if they wish.

    I attended a funeral of the mother of a friend yesterday. The family had already requested we return to the church after the graveside portion of the funeral to enjoy refreshments put out by the ladies of the church. This is typical for the Deep South. The only weird thing for me was, every time I've attended these in the past, it was a HUGE spread laid out. Heck, when my paternal Grandfather died, the ladies of his church served us LUNCH. Yesterday they had cookies and fruit. Period. And very little of that. Even the family was disappointed! Here it was 2:30 p.m., no one had eaten lunch yet, and they were hungry! lol
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