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I haven't been to many funerals, but I think that is also common now to have wakes immediately after the funeral (in the US). Would you agree? ike9898 16:59, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)
I've never seen this be the custom, although my family is pretty predominantly Irish Catholic. We always have the wake before the funeral mass. -SBoyce
In the USA
The wake or viewing comes before the funeral. Otherwise, how could you see the body if it was already buried. --Coolsnowmen 19:46, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
- I think they meant Funeral vs. Burial ceremony. Seems like the Viewing (Wake?) could logically occur between Funeral and Burial, especially if it is at the funeral home. 「ѕʀʟ·✎」 02:24, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
External link ==
== A guide to the Irish wakes
I have removed the commercial components of the page, so as to adhere to Wiki rules from Rebelyell1916
Merge from Irish wake The article Irish wake contains some good information, which partly duplicates (and extends) information in the section on Irish wakes in this article. Some merge is in order here. 126.96.36.199 02:48, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
There was a request for an article on the irish wake, I think it deserves its own article, with a "see also" link to it on the Wake page. susanbamboozlin 20:09, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Merge to Viewing (funeral)
I believe that this page should be merged with Viewing (funeral)
Where does the word "wake" come from? Is it related to "awake"? Dmharvey 20:35, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
The section "American Wakes & New England Vampire Cults" is very poorly written and unsubstantiated. How common was it for people to be buried alive? And of these people how common was it for them to need to be exhumed and the casket opened? Is this minor bit of trivia that seemingly borders on urban legend worth mentioning at all? -SBoyce
"or social as referred to in Canada"
Irish "American Wakes" vs Wakes in America"
This section is plainly in a mess. It is referring to two completely different things. The Irish "American Wake" is not a wake at all, but simply something called a wake. If it should be anywhere, it should be under the "Irish Wakes" heading, however, it seems borderline trivial. A wake is something held for the dead. Howfar (talk) 22:04, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that this article pretty much needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. While there is plenty of worthwhile stuff here, the article does not approach the subject in an encyclopaedic manner. I'm going to start work on sourcing what I can, correcting the current overemphasis on Irish and American traditions, getting a broad but strong basic definition of "wake", removing contradictory statements and all kinds of other stuff. Anyone watching (waking?) this article? Anyone feel like lending a hand? Leave a message on my user page if you do. Howfar (talk) 00:08, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Wake vs Funeral service
I don't think that this article is clear enough in distinguishing between a 'wake' which appears to be an informal customary/social ceremony (although it may have some religious overtones) and a 'funeral service' which is a formal religious ceremony. The 'Irish wakes' section clearly indicates that the wake happens before, and is separate from, the funeral service -- but the Icelandic and Eastern Christian sections instead describe this service rather than a 'wake' in the Irish sense. Given that nothing in this article (including the very definition of 'wake') is referenced, and the Icelandic and Eastern Christian are neither called wakes and are distinguishable from the English-language/Irish use of the word, I'm going to delete these sections. HrafnTalkStalk 05:04, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but what *is* it?
I note (above) that the article was going to be rebuilt, but that was in March. Six months later, and there's no description here of what people might actually *do* at a wake. Can we please have some? 188.8.131.52 (talk) 11:49, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I have attended wakes for my parents and grandmother - brought up as Northern Irish Protestant. Always before funeral and little/no religious ceremony. Eleanor2.10 (talk) 21:34, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I have attended too many wakes in Pennsylvania, New York, Kansas, Colorado, and California and they are always immediately after the funeral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 15:03, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Article is horrible
Little better than a dictionary definition. Whoever decided to merge th old (better) Irish wake article with this piece of crap is/are freakin moron(s). Isn't the purpose of merges and edits to IMPROVE quality? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 04:55, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Merge with Viewing?
The words are often used interchangeably, and both articles could use work. I think we should combine Wake (ceremony) with Viewing (funeral), under whichever term is more common, and start rebuilding from there. TeeRebel (talk) 09:26, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
- Wakes & viewings are related, but not necessarily the same thing. You can have a wake without the body being present, and a viewing at a funeral home would not be considered a wake. I therefore think that they should be seperate sections in the same article. The logical place for such information to be held would be at Death customs (which currently redirects to Death and culture#customs). If/when a specific custom achieves sufficient coverage, they can be spun back out per WP:Summary style. HrafnTalkStalk 11:24, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
What happened to this article?!! It used to be longer and filled with information. Now it has been gutted to nothing more than a stub. This is rediculous! What a waste--all that work by so many editors. Not only this article, but the information in the aricle on Irish Wake (which had been merged with this article) was lost. Now Irish wake redirects users here, but the article contains absolutely no information on Irish wakes! I don't see any entries on this talk page by the individual who decided to gut this article. Instead of feverishly removing information, why don't we all concentrate on finding referenes? MishaPan (talk) 14:44, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
- Agreed that the wholesale deletion was inappropriate; the editor should have tagged for refimprove. I have restored the fuller version, but that editor was quite right about the need for additional sources.DavidOaks (talk) 19:18, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
- It was tagged, it never did get sourced, so it was eventually removed, per WP:V. Restoring this material violates WP:BURDEN. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:28, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
- I would further point out that all of the material from Irish wake was unsourced, so should not have been merged into this article in the first place without first being sourced (or at the very least being tagged for being unsourced). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:22, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Unsourced material restored in violation of WP:BURDEN
In many places, a wake is now synonymous with viewing or funeral visitation or Visiting Hours. It is often a time for the deceased's friends and loved ones to gather and to console the immediate family prior to the funeral. In Australia, New Zealand, and northern England, the wake commonly happens after the funeral service in the absence of the body and is often "wet" -- which is to say alcohol and food are served and, as a result, the wake often resembles a party for the deceased as well as being of comfort for their family. In this way it follows the model of the traditional Irish wake, although there is a long tradition of feasting and celebration connected with funeral service amongst the Māori of New Zealand that predates European settlement.
Italic text=== Irish wakes === The Irish Wake (in Gaelic: Faire) is a traditional mourning custom practised in Ireland and among diaspora communities in North America and Britain. An integral part of the grieving process for family, friends, and neighbours of the deceased, Irish wakes are occasions that mix gaiety and sadness. The custom is a celebration of the life that had passed, but the tone of the wake depends largely on the circumstances of the death.
Irish Wakes usually begin at the time of death and last until the family leaves with the body for the funeral service. If a death occurs in the evening, the wake is often not held until the following night to allow mourners to travel and prepare for the services.
Preparations for the wake begin soon after death. A window may be opened so that the spirit of the deceased may leave the room. It is considered bad luck to walk or stand between the deceased and the window, as this is thought to interrupt the progress of the soul out the window. After two hours, the window is then closed to prevent the soul from returning to the body. All clocks in the house are stopped at the time the deceased passed as a sign of respect, and women gather to bathe and dress the body. The deceased often is dressed in white and if male, the face is shaved before the body is dressed. The body is then laid out for viewing on a table or bed and is attended until the burial. All mirrors in the household are covered, removed, or turned around.
Immediately after they prepare the body, the women begin keening.
This vocal lamentation is a display of mourning and sounds a bit like wailing to those who are not accustomed to it. Superstition holds that keening must not begin until after the body is prepared or evil spirits will surround the wake and body.
Devout Irish Catholics integrated many religious traditions into the wake. A rosary is placed in the hands of the deceased, and each mourner kneels beside the body and says a prayer. The entire rosary is said at least once during the wake, commonly at midnight. The prayers are usually led by a leader in the community but most often by a Catholic priest and the entire group of mourners supply the responses.
The Irish also celebrate the life of the deceased and share food and drink throughout the wake. Music, dancing, telling funny stories of the deceased, and physical games make the wake feel more like a party. The Catholic Church has tried numerous times (unsuccessfully) throughout history to abolish the consumption of alcohol at wakes. Though it is a time of sadness, the presence of friends and family makes it more bearable and there is generally great joviality as the deceased is fondly remembered; indeed, there is tradition in some parts of the country to play a game of cards and include a hand for the deceased.
Friends stay with the corpse throughout the night. A rosary is said during the day and a Mass may also be said in the house. Typically, the wake lasts until the next afternoon, though occasionally it may last a second night, especially if circumstances caused the wake to begin late in the evening.
The afternoon after the wake, the undertaker will place the corpse in a coffin or casket and take it to the funeral home. As this represents the deceased leaving home for the last time; it is often one of the saddest moments. A removal will take place when people who may not have been to the house will attend and commiserate before the casket is closed for the last time. The body rests overnight in a church before burial after a Mass the following day. However, this is not the case in some areas of Ireland - in Donegal, Down and Derry, the body stays in the house until the funeral.
Though many of these customs have faded away in modern Ireland, some are still practised, particularly the laying out of the body in the house before burial. This is rare, however, in the main cities and towns and a declining practice in many rural areas. Generally, the wake is seen as the celebratory gathering after the funeral ceremony, where people might share stories of the deceased over food and drink, but most importantly, to give the people a day to remember the person and to show their love of them.
The Irish wake, in the sense of celebrating at a death, originated with the ancient Celts. In their belief system, once someone died in this world they moved on to the afterlife, which was a better world, and thus cause for celebration.
Similar parties were thrown in Ireland when a loved one left the country. These became known as "American wakes" or "emigrant wakes" in the mid-19th century as Irish immigration to North America increased. Many emigrants would never see their Irish neighbors and friends again, and a send-off party was thrown that included the same mix of gaiety and sadness found in an Irish wake.
In Iceland the wake ceremony is called kistulagning. It is a small funeral service held for the closest family members and friends. It takes up to 30 minutes and is usually held in a small funeral chapel which is called a kapella.
Though Nordic in most terms of culture, the Icelandic wake is similar to the Viking tradition in name only. Most Nordic deceased were sent to sea on small boats, while the wealthier men were buried inside their treasured warships. Instead of watching them drift out to sea, the Vikings would typically hold a day of observation at the gravesite while telling stories of the deceased. This tradition would commonly be referred to as the observation of the proverbial "wake" left behind by the dead and most likely is the namesake for most Western wakes, which were typically called "waking."
In the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, when one of the faithful dies, there are special Prayers at the Departure of the Soul that are said by the priest. After this, the body is washed by family members or friends (Acts 9:37), clothed in new garments, and placed in the coffin. An icon or cross, and perhaps the deceased's prayer rope are placed in their hands. A linen band, called a phylactery, having on it an icon of Christ, the Theotokos (Mother of God), and St. John the Baptist, and the words of the Trisagion, is placed on their forehead, to symbolize the crown of victory. Candles may be placed around the coffin (often four, to form a cross, with candles at the head, foot, and each side).
After all is ready, the priest serves the "First Panikhida (memorial service). Following the Panikhida, family and friends take turns reading the Psalms next to the body. This vigil continues until the time of the funeral itself (traditionally on the third day of death). Since the purpose of the wake is both to pray for the departed and to comfort the living, the psalms are interrupted after each kathisma (division of the Psalter) for a brief service, called the Litya, which is an abbreviated form of the Panikhida.
If the family is using a traditional coffin, with a detachable lid, the lid is stood upright outside the main door of the house as a sign that the household is in mourning, and encouraging all to come and pray for the deceased. Originally, the wake was in the home, and the body was not moved to the church until it was actually time for the funeral, at which time the priest and faithful would all gather at the home and begin the funeral service as the remains were carried in procession to the church.
When a monk or nun dies, their body is washed and clothed by one of the brethren, and they are vested in their monastic habit. The mantle is cut so that it forms a cross, and the remains are bound up in it. The klobuk is placed over the head backwards, so the veil covers the face. An icon, the cross they received at their tonsure, and their prayer rope are placed in their hands. The candle they were given at their tonsure should be one of those burning around the coffin. If the departed was a simple monk or nun, the Psalter is read over him. If he was a hieromonk (a monk who has been ordained a priest), he is vested in his priestly vestments (epitrachelion [stole] and cuffs only), and the Gospel is read over him.
When a bishop or priest dies, his body is washed and clothed in all his vestments by the clergy, who then take turns reading the Gospel beside the coffin. An Aër (veil used in the Divine Liturgy) is placed over the face of a departed bishop or priest, a blessing cross is placed in his hands, and a Gospel Book laid in the coffin with him.
- mollygallivans.com does not appear to be a reliable source (it is simply a website promoting a tourist attraction).
- Prior discussion is not needed to revert additions based upon unreliable sources. However, as this revert has now been disputed, I am discussing it here.
- You could also have asked for a better source instead of mercyless removing it. Night of the Big Wind talk 05:39, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
- BTW, the whole part about Irish wakes above in "Unsourced material restored in violation of WP:BURDEN" is plain true. I have seen with it to my own surprise with my own eyes. To let the soul escape, they even smashed the window! The wake took about 30 hours. I shall see if I can find proper sourcing. Night of the Big Wind talk 05:53, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Article is less than poor
I admit i'm astonished with the lightness the Wake ceremony has received from wikipedia.
First of all, the wake holds profound religious meaning and it wasn't merelly about the mourning of the deceased by the family.
Originally it was (in catholic tradition it still is) on the night before the burial, lasting all night, in order to protect the soul of the deceased until the body was placed in hallowed ground. The reason for the presence of family and close ones was originally to protect the deceased's soul from evil forces in an hallowed and well light place. The idea behind the creation of gargoyles (fiendish like creatures placed out the outer walls of churches) is in some way connected with this purpose of security against evil.
In southern Europe that would (and still does) take place in a room inside the church. The extensive use of candles gave this vigil ceremony the name of "velório" or others related to candles, light or vigil. Only in protestant countries the use of a funeral parlour is distinct the from the church itself. Wakes taking place at the home are unknow in this part of the globe.
I think that all religions have similar traditions and they should be registered here both with the descriptions of the rituals and the religion symbolism behind them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 17:50, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
- Do you have a proposal for a change of or addition to the text? 19:26, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Most of this article was composed of complete cut and pasted sentences from the following web pages:
I have removed all the copied text as per wp:copyvio but unfortunately it doesn't leave much left. I'm sorry to have to take such drastic action but this is a serious problem. I intend to rewrite the article as and when I get time, but if someone else would like to do some in the meantime please feel free to do so. However the copied text must not be put back in without being rewritten. I have added the appropriate template below. Richerman (talk) 01:03, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
- I consider your copyvio claim rather harsh but not unfair. Text 1 is indeed plain problematic, text 2 is harsh as a rewrite was possible. And I am very interested how you have checked text 4, as your link nor the article gives a link to the plain text of the chapter.
05:08, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
- I'm not certain what you mean by text 1-4 but I'm guessing you must mean the 4 web pages above. If so the text on the fourth one is not in the book but in the website under "themes" (you have to scroll down to find it) where it says "This article examines the ascribed social roles of women connected with death in the context of pre-modern Irish society. From the "white women" who prepare and lay out the corpse, to the roles of women during the wake itself and keening women who ritually lament for the dead". In the article it said "Jenny Butler examines the ascribed social roles of women connected with death in the context of pre-modern Irish society. From the "white women" who prepare and lay out the corpse, to the roles of women during the wake itself and keening women who ritually lament for the dead". In the second one the phrase " This light relief had a certain therapeutic value for the grieving family while at the same time helping those who were keeping vigil to pass the night and so it was an accepted part of waking the dead" is lifted verbatim from the source website. Of course it can be rewritten - it can all be rewritten and then it won't be a problem. I see also that on one of your reversions I missed your comment about wakes week being mentioned in Wake (disambiguation). My whole purpose in adding that formation was to show that in England the original wake or vigil developed into a fair or a holiday and there is no tradition of a funeral wake. I find that difference to be an interesting part of the history of the development of the original ceremony and relevant to this article and I have no idea why you are so offended by its inclusion. You seem to think that this article should only be about the funeral wake whereas the original ceremony that the funeral wake came from was more than that and that history should be included. The point is to explain to anyone reading this article why there is a difference in the use of the term in England and Ireland. As there is no link in the article to the disambiguation page that is hardly helpful either - I shall add one. Richerman (talk) 10:02, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Copyright problem removed
Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. Copied or closely paraphrased material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Richerman (talk) 01:27, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
- Find the ones who added the copyvio and start roaring there. That will work better than here. 05:09, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
This is duplicated: The term wake originated from Middle English wakien, waken, from Old English wacan, to wake up and wacian, to be awake, keep watch. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 20:42, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I fully appreciate how the article came to be in its present state, but unfortunately it now gives a highly misleading impression of what a wake is in most parts of modern Ireland and Britain, where it is a gathering of friends and family with refreshments after the funeral service. Irish wakes are more likely to be alcohol based than British ones but there are no hard rules. I can't speak for North America, but there it seems to designate a viewing of the body before the funeral, something completely different. I guess Irish American traditions are derived from the customs of rural nineteenth century Ireland rather than the Ireland of today. --Ef80 (talk) 13:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree. There's a much more informal and less traditional use of the term in the UK now. Some people refer to a social gathering immediately after, several days or weeks later, or instead of, a funeral, as a wake. It would be good to incorporate current usage of the term as well as the more traditional ones. RGWR (talk) 09:59, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
This article has very little information about what a wake actually is. The Origin section could definitely use some expansion and the article could benefit by adding the modern use of the word. It could also mention the different cultures that have wakes and the practices that occur during them. I noticed that the last two sentences of the Origin section do not have in-line citations as well. Kmcguiness95 (talk) 22:15, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
"I'm not dead yet!"
I will, of course, try to find citations to back this up, but I have seen some fairly exhaustive presentations regarding the Irish wake which were explicit in their assertion that one function of the wake was in fact to make sure that the deceased did not "wake" up -- that he was, indeed, dead. Many rural Irish communities had nothing even approaching a doctor, and they had few ways to know for sure other than waiting. They cite other factors of course -- the need to spread the news to family and friends being significant, but also that, during the British occupation of Ireland, a funeral was one of the only times that the Irish were allowed to gather in groups, so it became a social event. Also, wonderful old Celtic traditions about protecting the deceased from the devil, the fairy folk, etc. PurpleChez (talk) 18:33, 25 June 2019 (UTC)