Families usually hold the funeral the day after the wake or viewing. Immediate family including surviving spouse, children, parents and siblings are lined up in a receiving line so that visitors can extend their condolences to … The wake became strongly associated with Irish culture, where it was a sort of celebration of life that took place in the family home prior to the funeral. A funeral is the formal, organized service honoring the deceased and the life that they lived. It was a sign of respect for the deceased. The length of the wake would be determined by the funeral service. All the clocks in the house would be stopped at the time of death. Want to know more about religious funeral etiquette, check out our guides to Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, and Buddhist funerals. A funeral wake is a get together before the actual funeral takes place which allows family and friends the chance to honor their friend or loved one Funeral Definition. Most often the wake would begin as soon as the body could be prepared and it would continue until the family left for the funeral service. If you can't make it to the wake, but can make it to the funeral. During the funeral songs are sung or listened to, a sermon may be given, and family and friends may have the opportunity to say a few parting words. The wake or visitation is typically the day before the funeral service and refers to a time when family and friends come to pay their respects to the deceased. Sometimes attending a wake or funeral is a matter of logistics.