Funerals and wakes

A rose offered to the departed during a funeral

We commonly misinterpreted the meaning of funeral and wake, and at times the two are being mistaken as the other one. What we don’t understand is that these two are different in a couple of aspects.

It’s not on a daily basis that we come across funerals and wakes, and a number of people are unsure and clueless as to what to do when they drop by the funeral reception. These are just a few of the concerns we commonly ask ourselves or to other people right before showing up at a funeral or wake. Certain people even enumerate their do’s and do n’ts so they’ll know what they must avoid and do from the start, people who oftentimes do this are those who’ll drop by a funeral or wake for the first time.


Family and friends gathered during a funeral of a loved one

A funeral is a ceremony linked with the final disposition of a deceased, such as cremation or burial. A funeral is also a get-together for the community to come together a time of grieving and contemplate on the life of the deceased person.

In the past, grievers would take a walk in a funeral procession to the gravesite; today, people use cars. Either all visitors will use automobiles, or they will still comply with the practice of walking behind the hearse.

The goal and main reasons why having a funeral are very important can be found here.

The funerary customs clears up the practices and beliefs followed by what may be the family’s culture, and it is done to remember and appreciate the deceased, from burial to a variety of monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs differ between cultures and religious groups. Normal customs for funerals include grieving the departed, remembering and honoring their life, and providing support and sympathy to the bereaved; in addition, funerals may have religious aspects that are aimed to allow the soul of the loved one reach the afterlife, or in some cases, the dearly departed resurrection or reincarnation.


The wake, or occasionally known as an event after the funeral, is a time to grieve the death of the person who has perished and, also to honor their way of life. Commonly, it’s a period when friends and family come to pay their respects to the person that passed away. Attendees are lined up to give their condolences to the family members.

Family catch up during a wake

The phrase wake was at first used to represent a prayer vigil. As time passed, its association with prayer has become less important, even though not lost entirely. In numerous countries, a wake is now typically associated with the social intercommunications accompanying a funeral.


– Family widows or members should only use black for one year. It signifies grief or loss.

– Stop counting the number of automobiles in a funeral procession. It’s assumed to be bad luck. Several feel that doing this will expose the number of years you have remained to live or will take a year off your life for each and every vehicle you count.

All countries have their very own set of superstitions¹ that other people still followed until today. Like the country Philippines, they have their superstition or “pamahiin”, as they refer to it, to observe when doing a visitation or funeral.

– Loved one should not say thank you to people offering their condolences. It is presumed that you are saying thank you that another person is dead.

– When resting, young children should use red or anything with red. Using red will help prevent the deceased from visiting them. Kids often tend to not feel well or have nightmares.

– For adults, it is avoided to don other or red bright-colored clothes. When attending a funeral or a wake, one should dress in dark-colored clothes as a sign of grieving.

Pregnant woman in a black dress

– Pregnant ladies are not permitted to take a look at the casket or even visit the burial. It is stated that they will have an issue giving birth or even miscarry their baby.

– When you run into a black cat right after attending a wake, it just doesn’t relate to misfortune, and some people say it signifies that you’ll be the next to die.

– Women on their period should not stop by any wake or attend a funeral. They will experience foul-smelling menstruation each month.

Kevin Lornall

Kevin Lornall

Owner and manager of Sierra Cremations. A licensed funeral director, Kevin oversees that Sierra Cremations meet all the standard and requirements as certified cremation provider as mandated by the state of Colorado. Together with his team, they provide the best and professional cremation to Denver, Holly Hills, Genesee, and other nearby cities. Also, a blogger and a writer, he writes about cremation and funeral to help people have a clear understanding of different processes and gain various tips from his experiences.

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