Wakes and after the funeral

The word ‘wake’ we use so often in association with funerals originated from the ancient Indo-European root ‘wog’ or ‘weg’, which means “to be active”, and is related to the Latin ‘vigil’. This evolved into several meanings, including ‘watching or guarding’, which became the word ‘watch’, and it is in this sense that people have a ‘wake’ for someone who recently died.

After the funeral…

It’s the time to come together to say a final goodbye. The reception after the funeral service (generally known as a wake) is a unique opportunity for the bereaved to share memories of the person who has passed away. The wake traditionally took place in the home of the deceased but other venues such as community halls, pubs, restaurants etc. are now regularly used.

Just as funerals are becoming more individual, wakes are changing too. Many people choose to use this time to celebrate the life of their loved one rather than mourn their passing.

Announcing the wake

Arrangements for the wake can be published within an obituary notice or on the back of the order of service at the funeral ceremony. Depending on whether you’re holding a public or private affair, it’s important that you make your expectations clear for potential guests.

Some factors to consider:

  • Number of guests
  • The venue
  • Catering
  • Entertainment
  • Budget
  • Timings

At Craven, we’re experienced in working with appropriate venues and caterers in the Merseyside area so we can provide information and suggestions to help you decide on the best wake for your friends and family.