Differences Between Viewings and Wakes

April 18, 2022 | Categories:

funeral homes Evanston, IL

Wake and viewing are two very common terms at funeral homes in Skokie, IL. But not many people know the exact difference between them. If you’re unsure about what exactly happens in a wake or how this service is different from Wake, then article is all you need to better understand what each service entails.

What is Viewing

A viewing is an informal event where close friends and family gather to “view the body.” Also referred to as visitation, viewing is arranged in a less-structured environment where the visitors mourn and offer condolences to the bereaved family.

Since it’s an informal gathering, so only a small number of guests are invited – the ones close to the bereaved – to pay their final respects. This service usually lasts for a couple of hours – often a day before the burial.

The family decides whether to arrange the viewing in the funeral home or the family house of the deceased.

What is a Wake

As the name indicates, a wake refers to the time the mourners stay awake to mourn and pay tribute to the lost loved one. It is quite similar to viewing, given that both allow the friends and family to offer condolences to the bereaved family and honor the deceased.

It lasts longer than a viewing and can happen either a day before or several days before the funeral. Like Viewing, it can be arranged in the funeral home or the deceased’s family house.

Viewing Vs Wake

The key difference between a viewing and wake is religion. While viewing is relatively an unstructured event, a wake has its roots in the Catholic church. A part of it includes a religious session involving a member of the clergy or a priest who reads holy texts or scriptures.

Also, a wake is a more structured and formal service than a viewing, and family invites relatively more guests.

Why Do People Have Viewings and Wakes?

Aside from religious and cultural affiliations, families arrange viewing and wake to say one last goodbye to the lost loved one. Also, they allow the deceased’s close ones to gather together and spend more time with the body before the final burial or cremaFtion.

funeral homes Evanston, ILIn addition, these events help the bereaved adapt to the changed reality and accept the fact that the loved one has gone forever. Research shows that such services help expedite the healing process – that’s why children are also encouraged to attend the Viewing ceremony. Many religious families also believe that holding a wake provides the deceased’s soul solace.

Viewing and Wake Etiquettes

Given the sanctity of both ceremonies, you need to be at the best of your behavior while attending a wake or a viewing. Remember:

  • Attend funeral services only if you’re invited as both as invitation-only ceremonies.
  • If you’re unclear, double-check with the funeral home or a member of the deceased’s family.
  • You can come and go as you fit, there’s no particular time limit for how long you should stay.
  • It’s better to dress in all-black attire, but you can wear any dark-colored clothes and make sure they are not shiny or too casual.

You can find more information at funeral homes  Skokie, IL.