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Wake vs. Funeral vs. Memorial Service: What Is What?

When a loved one passes on, family members or close friends make arrangements for the deceased individual. But when it comes time to make arrangements, you may be faced with a variety of questions. And if the person didn’t leave a will or other specific instructions, the process can be trickier.

Some things you’ll have to decide on (if they’re not already specified) include: what kind of casket to bury the individual in, whether to do cremation or traditional burial, and how to get death notices out to friends, relatives, and the public. Another major thing to consider is the kind of service, or services, you want to have for the individual. There are three main services, and all three will be explained in the following sections.

What Is a Wake?

One of the events that’s held following a death is a wake. This is also referred to as a viewing. It is held before the funeral, and it can be done with a casket or an urn. At the wake, the casket or urn will be displayed, and mourners will come to pay their respects to the person who’s gone on. The wake is also a time for mourners to send their condolences to present surviving family members. While some services are family-only, others are open to the public. When attending a wake, it’s customary to tell surviving family members how you knew the individual. At large wakes, a line is common, and some require a police detail or other special arrangements.

What Is a Funeral?

It’s at a funeral where a deceased individual is honored. After this they are buried or cremated. Again, the casket or urn will be placed at the front of the funeral home so it can be clearly viewed by all in attendance. The funeral is also where family members will deliver eulogies and others will say kind words about the person who’s just gone on. Usually, funerals are just for friends and family.

What Is a Memorial Service?

Memorial services are different from funerals in a few key respects. The first is that there won’t be an urn or a casket at a memorial service. Instead, it’s customary to put a photo of the deceased person at the front of the funeral home. Next, memorial services don’t have to be soon after the death like wakes and funerals do. You could have a memorial service several weeks or even several months after the person has passed on.

Moreover, these services can take place at numerous locations, and they can still include some of the funeral aspects, such as friends and family getting up and saying a few kind words about the deceased person.

Call (718) 444-1818 now if you need to arrange services for a deceased love one. The services our funeral home in Canarsie provides are sought-after. We’ll run through your options and make sure the send-off is exactly the way the person would’ve wanted. Finally, let us extend our deepest condolences for your loss.

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