The loss of a loved one is always a challenging time, and attending events like wakes can feel daunting, especially if it's your first time. If you are unsure of what to expect at a wake, you are not alone. As part of the grieving process, wakes serve as an important opportunity to pay respects, remember the deceased, and provide support to the family. In this article, we will outline what you should expect at a wake, how to conduct yourself, and how you can use our eulogy Assistant software to share meaningful words about your loved one during this transitional phase.
A wake is a traditional gathering that takes place before a funeral service, typically in the evening or the day before the funeral. It is a time for friends and family to come together to remember the loved one who has passed away, and offer condolences and support to the grieving family.
1. The environment
Expect the wake to be held in a funeral home, at the family's home, or in a community hall. The atmosphere will likely be somber but not necessarily tense. Soft, calming music might be playing in the background, and there may be chairs or benches to sit on.
At the front of the room, you may find the deceased's casket or urn, surrounded by flowers, photos, and other personal items. This arrangement is referred to as a 'viewing' or 'visitation,' where attendees can pay their last respects.
2. Dress code
Popular Funeral Recommendations
Wear conservative, semi-formal clothing in darker, muted colors. For men, this usually includes a suit or dark trousers with a button-down shirt and tie, while for women, a modest dress or skirt and blouse are appropriate. It is essential to choose clothing that is both respectful and comfortable.
3. Arrival etiquette
Upon arrival, sign the guest book or register, and take a moment to introduce yourself to the family members, especially if you didn't know the deceased well. Offer your condolences and share any fond memories or stories about their loved one. You might say something like, "I'm so sorry for your loss. Your father had the most infectious laugh, and it always brightened everyone's day."
4. Visitation and viewing
If there is an open casket, approach it respectfully and take a moment to say a silent prayer, reflect on your memories with the deceased, or simply observe in silence. This act shows respect and allows you to have closure.
5. Paying respects
Mingle with other attendees and share stories about the deceased, as this helps create a sense of community and comfort. It is important to remember that a wake is about celebrating the life of the person who has passed away, so try to focus on the positive aspects of their life as you engage with others.
6. Food and drinks
Wakes can vary significantly in their format. Some may have light refreshments and snacks, while others might include a full meal. Whatever the case, partaking in the offered refreshments is seen as a sign of participation and support for the bereaved family.
When it comes time to speak about the deceased, whether during the wake or at the funeral, composing a heartfelt tribute to your loved one can feel overwhelming. The eulogy Assistant software is here to help you craft a personalized and touching eulogy to deliver at the wake, funeral, or memorial service. Our platform makes it easy to gather your thoughts and memories, providing you with an easy-to-follow structure to create a meaningful eulogy that honours your loved one.
As you navigate the emotions and etiquette of attending a wake, knowing what to expect can help reduce anxiety and ensure you can focus on what's important: honouring and remembering the life of the person who has passed away. And as you prepare to speak about your loved one, our eulogy Assistant software will be with you every step of the way, providing the guidance and support you need to create an unforgettable tribute.