A funeral wake is typically a private, formal gathering held before a funeral, generally held within the deceased’s home. Historically, a traditional wake would typically occur in the deceased’s home; however, most wakes today are now often conducted at a funeral parlor or other convenient location. The attendee count is usually limited to immediate family and close friends. Sometimes, the invitees may include close friends and an officiant.
Including religious or non-religious wakes and private or public readings, hymns, prayers, and music. There are times when the funeral wake is more of a celebration of life rather than a sad remembrance of death. Buddhist funeral services can be helpful for the grieving family in the days immediately following the death, as it offers them a time to come together and share memories, celebrate life, and offer support for the new family. Family members often share stories of how the deceased had been so loving and involved in their community and others’ lives that they were considered an integral part of everything. Others attend to help console the family as they mourn.
While there is typically served at the wake with a prayer of thanksgiving for the deceased and those who have attended the funeral, most people are just there to be around and share their feelings. They may talk about how the loved one was always willing to help around the house, how beloved they were, and how much they loved their family. Others may offer words of encouragement to the bereaved. While everyone is there to share their emotions, most funeral wakes are not more than a quick acknowledgment that the mourners are there. If that is the case, why bother?
First, as the host, you need to consider your guests and make sure they are comfortable. It’s okay to have a few dry-hashed emotions, but don’t turn what should be a moment of solidarity into a scene full of chaos. Be respectful, kind, and provide good music and food if you have the space. Remember that funerals are not all about the celebration – if your guests leave feeling less than stellar, it’s unlikely they’ll want to return!
Another critical element is that there is no set format for the funeral wake or any other gathering held following the burial. That said, specific guidelines often apply, such as sharing the funeral poem by family members. There are no set rules regarding anything, but remember that the wake is about everyone – remember to have fun!
Consider using picture slideshows to display some of your favorite photos. Often, a picture slide show can be a great way to get everyone reminiscing while also providing an excellent background for stories and funeral speeches. Many people like to include photos from the actual service, if possible, as well. The slide show is a beautiful way to transition into the actual wake.
There are many options available when it comes to decorating the actual funeral wake. You can use any number of decorations, including but not limited to balloons, candles, personalized T-shirts, and more. Most people enjoy the atmosphere, as long as it stays clean and organized. The only person who can make that decision is deceased.
If you plan to host a funeral wake, don’t forget to invite all of your close family members to attend. It’s always a good idea to invite everyone. The memories you’ll take away from seeing your loved one smiling or sharing funny stories are irreplaceable, so don’t skimp on the invite. They’ll help you through the tough time ahead.