Wakes and after the funeral

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

After the funeral service

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 convene and share memories of the person they have lost. Traditionally, the wake took place in the home of the deceased but other venues such as local community centres, pubs, restaurants etc. are now frequently 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

Along with the obituary notice, arrangements for the wake can be published – they can also be shared on the back of the order of service at the funeral itself. 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 likely to attend
  • Choice of venue
  • Food and drink
  • Entertainment
  • The budget you’d like to allocate

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