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How to Organize a Wake

After a loved one has passed on, it’s up to the family and friends of that person to arrange services (if these weren’t arranged by the person prior to their death). One of the services that may be held is a wake. Planning a wake can be challenging for practical reasons and emotional reasons, which is why it’s important to find a good funeral home, one that can accommodate your needs and make the wake special. In the sections below, we explain what a wake is and what elements need to be considered when planning a wake.

What Is a Wake?

Otherwise known as a vigil or visitation, a wake is a kind of service that surviving family members and friends will hold for a deceased loved one. A wake is held before a funeral and is not as formal as a funeral. The main thing that happens at a wake is visitors will come and pay their respects to the deceased person and give their condolences to surviving family members in person. It’s common for wakes to be open to the public, though not all wakes are.

At wakes, you’ll see family and friends that haven’t seen each other for years catching up, and a wake is also a chance for people to give their final goodbyes. Often, a wake is held in the evening the night before the funeral or the day of (just hours before). A wake can have either an open or a closed casket. Sometimes, a person representing the deceased loved one’s faith will be there to say a few words, and memories and stories will be shared as well.

Where Are Wakes Held?

Wakes are typically held at funeral homes. Although you can have a wake at somebody’s home, this is no longer common practice. The reason why funeral homes are preferred is because they are equipped with all the necessary accommodations, and you can still have an intimate gathering at a funeral home. Plus, a funeral home may be easier to attend than somebody’s home, especially if it’s a big wake that lots of people attend.

What Are Common Wake Practices?

Often at wakes, you’ll see flowers arranged around the casket or urn. There will also be a guestbook so attendees can sign their names and write notes to the family. The most important practices at a wake are paying respects and giving condolences to surviving, present family members. You may also see memory boards and other personal items there, and a tribute video may be shown at the wake to remember the person.

Other Points to Consider

In short, there are many things to consider before conducting a wake, and a good funeral home will be able to take care of most of the logistics so the family can focus on grieving. And a funeral home that has been around for many years like ours can accommodate all kinds of cultural and religious wakes and funerals, which is a big reason why we’ve been sought-after since we opened our doors.

Call our funeral home in Cypress Hills now at (718) 444-1818 to know more about your options. And please: accept our sincerest condolences for your loss.

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