Viewings, Wakes and Visitations Explained

A viewing is also known as a wake and is more common with the Catholic faith. These visitations don’t always follow the same format, and while some viewings are brief and take place immediately before the funeral service, some viewings can last up to a few days before the service. T option of holding a viewing in the first place is entirely up to the family of the deceased.

Just Being at the Viewing Shows You Care

Just being there for the family is a sign that you care. There’s no need to linger longer than you have to, but your presence will have been noticed.

  • The viewing is an excellent time to listen to the family of the deceased express their sorrow or it can be a time when everyone shares stories and memories of the deceased.
  • People appreciate a viewing because it provides them with a time to offer their condolences and also to say their goodbyes. When you arrive at the funeral home, church or home, it is best to go Viewings Wakes and Visitationsstraight to the family so as to express your sympathy. This is done with some kind words of encouragement and sometimes a hug. Viewing of the deceased isn’t mandatory.
  • A wake or visitation brings some form of closure which can be useful when the death was unexpected.


There’s a Choice of Venues for Viewings

A visitation can be public or private, and one way or the other you’ll need to be in contact with family and friends to let them know when and where the visitation will be. A viewing, visitation or wake can take place at the funeral home or in a church. With a private family viewing at home, some people lay the body out on a bed or table.

Get your Questions Answered

For a viewing, there is the question about embalming. The body will need to be embalmed if the viewing takes place quite long after the death. Also you have to check with the funeral home if the viewing is to be there. This is because they may have a policy which requires embalming for a public viewing.


One of the most frequently asked questions around a wake or viewing is should children be allowed to be participants. Its a case of personal choice. Some people feel their children need to be aware of the realities of life from an early age. At a viewing, children may not like to actually see and touch the body of the person who has died. Each child and each visitation needs to be assessed.


There’s a Wealth of Information to Guide You

Many of us will need to attend a funeral at some time, and we won’t know what is expected of us. We feel that we might even be an embarrassment. Funeral etiquette isn’t about hard and fast rules that you have to abide by. Basic funeral etiquette can be useful for guiding someone who hasn’t got a clue of what’s expected.

Everplans was started in 2012 and their mission is to help individuals and families to be ready for any great event in life. They’ve got helpful information for you on wakes, visitations and viewings. With this information you can know precisely what they’re about and what your role in them is, more so if you were close to the deceased.

There’s no need to suffer the discomfort of awkwardness when you’ve got so much useful information right at your fingertips.

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All info was correct at time of publishing