what is an irish wake

What Is An Irish Wake? Irish wakes are a celebration of life – one last party to honor the deceased. The name “wake” originated because unknown diseases had plagued the countryside causing some to appear dead. As the family began to mourn, they would awaken. For this reason, the body is waked in the deceased’s home for at least one night.

What happens at a Irish wake? An Irish wake involves allowing family and friends to pay their last respects to the deceased with an open casket, rituals, prayers, music, poetry, food, and drink.

How long do Irish wakes last? An acceptable time to remain at the wake is anything from 10 minutes to several hours, depending on how well you know the family.

What usually happens at a wake? A wake, also known as a viewing, visitation or gathering, typically occurs before the funeral takes place. An urn or a casket is typically present, and the casket may be opened or closed. At this time, people pay their respects and offer condolences to loved ones of the departed.

Why do they call it a wake?

Why is it called a wake? The word wake in relation to death originally meant a ‘watch’, ‘vigil’ or ‘guard’. It was used to refer to a prayer vigil, usually held late at night or overnight, where mourners would keep watch over their dead until they were buried.

What is a modern Irish wake?

The term “wake” is often used interchangeably with “visitation” or “viewing,” but a modern-day wake allows each individual to mourn in the way that heals their own pain, and to do it in a setting surrounded by others that loved and mourn the deceased in their own way as well.

What do the Irish do when someone dies?

Funeral Traditions from Ireland – Stopping Clocks, Opening Windows and Covering Mirrors. Stopping clocks, opening windows and covering mirrors are all part of the Irish Wake tradition, and similar rituals can be found in other cultures around the world. All clocks are stopped at the time of death.

Why do Irish cover mirrors after death?

Catholic and Christian traditions The custom of covering mirrors is especially common among Irish Catholics. The Irish wake is a well-known funeral tradition where the family of the deceased covers all mirrors in the home. To hide the physical body from the soul, the family turns mirrors to face the wall.

What do you bring to an Irish wake?

If you attend an Irish wake, it is respectful to bring the immediate family a gift. Alcohol, food, and/or flowers are typical gifts that may be given at Irish wakes. Offering gifts to the immediate family is a thoughtful and respectful gesture that shows them your support during this time.

Why do Irish throw water in front of a hearse?

The water used to wash the corpse before placement in the coffin was traditionally kept to be thrown in front of the hooves of the horse drawing the funeral carriage. Later, this developed into the symbolic act of neighbors and family throwing buckets of water as a mark of respect for the dead.

Is a wake Catholic?

What is a Wake? Traditionally, the wake is a Catholic ceremony based in part on the Celtic traditions of Ireland. Those traditions dictated that family and close friends should stay awake through the night with the deceased in order to offer protection from evil spirits.

What do you do at a Catholic wake?

Catholic vigil (wake) During this time, those in attendance offer prayers and condolences to the family and may observe the scripture through readings and reflections. Eulogies, singing and poetry readings may also be offered during the vigil.

How long after death is a wake?

How long after death is a wake? A wake (sometimes referred to as a viewing or visitation) will usually happen within a week of death. So this answer is very similar to that of the question “How long after death is the funeral?” The wake itself typically takes place the evening before the funeral.

What is a repast?

Definition of repast (Entry 1 of 2) 1 : something taken as food : meal. 2 : the act or time of taking food.

Is a memorial the same as a wake?

The key difference between these terms is the purpose that they serve. Another distinguishing factor is how formal or informal the functions are. Funeral wakes, and Funeral viewings are informal. A funeral service is formal while a memorial service is an interplay of the two.

Which religion holds a wake?

The traditional time to hold a wake is before a funeral service, but some families prefer to have the event shortly after the service – often known as a funeral reception. The term “wake” has its roots in religious ceremonies that tie back to the Catholic and Celtic traditions in Ireland.

What is a wake vs viewing?

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

What is an Irish goodbye?

A slang phrase rumored to have originated in the Northeast, an “Irish goodbye” refers to a person ducking out of a party, social gathering or very bad date without bidding farewell.

Why do you cover mirrors when someone dies?

You should cover the mirror in a house where there’s been a death because the soul of the dead person wanders around for three days, and it should not see itself in the mirror—if this happens the mirrors will tarnish and never be clean again, or in days to come the mirror will turn and make a picture of the dead.

Why do they cover mirrors and stop clocks when someone dies?

1- There was belief that if a soul that has passed on was to see their reflection they would become trapped in the mirror and not be able to move on. 2- Another was that covering the mirror hid the mourners from seeing themselves during time of grieving and they were allowed to grieve fully.

Why do you stop the clock when someone dies?

Someone has died, and stopping the clocks in the house of the deceased, silencing them, is an old tradition, similar to closing the blinds or curtains and covering the mirrors. The clock would be set going again after the funeral. Some people believe stopping the clock was to mark the exact time the loved one had died.

What does it mean when it rains at a burial?

In the Victorian era, it was actually considered good luck if it rained during a funeral. People believed that it signified the soul of the deceased is moving onto heaven. This superstition persists in some places, including in Ireland.

How long before a body is embalmed?

There are no federal laws that state how long a funeral home can hold a body. However, most states have some type of law that says a body must be either embalmed or refrigerated within 24 to 48 hours after the time of death.

What is an Irish lament?

The Irish traditional lament and the grieving process☆ Her caoineadh or lament was a series of breathless utterances of rhymed, rhythmic praise of the dead person (usually a man), and invective against his enemies.

What is a removal in Irish funerals?

The removal and funeral procession The wake will usually last for a couple of days, to allow visitors from far away to come and visit. Following this, ‘removal’ will take place, wherein the body will be taken from the home to the local church or place of worship.

Is it disrespectful to overtake a hearse?

Hearses usually travel at around 20mph, a speed that has potential to create long queues. While drivers are often wary of appearing disrespectful to overtake a procession, they also don’t usually want to feel like they’re intruding in the group by driving directly behind it.

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