A funeral vigil is an opportunity, sometimes involving a formal ritual, to spend time with the body of the deceased before burial or other disposition. Viewings and wakes are examples of funeral vigils.Know More
Perhaps as long ago as the Paleolithic period, mourners sat with dead bodies prior to burial. In some cultures, this was to protect the body from predation. In others it was to watch the spirit rise and witness for the deceased. In many cultures, the vigil became a point of law, both to prove that the person was dead and to preserve the body, often in situ, as evidence.
In modern society, the funeral vigil is primarily considered a Catholic rite. In “The Vigil: Making Room for God,” H. Richard Rutherford describes the vigil as a “period spent doing something through the night, for example, watching, guarding or praying.” The liturgies of the Word of God and of the Hours form the basis of Catholic funeral vigils.
The formal funeral vigil is similar to a wake, essentially a party (perhaps held in a bar with the coffined body present) held the night before a funeral to celebrate the life of the deceased. Viewings of the deceased, whether at a funeral parlor, in a church or in the home, can also be considered funeral vigils.Learn more about Christianity
The reading of Psalm 23 at a funeral provides comfort to loved ones bereaved by the loss of the deceased. Mourners often find the verses of Psalm 23 comforting and reassuring in the face of death.Full Answer >
A thank you note for a gift, donation or funeral visit should express gratitude for the support of the family of the deceased; a specific description of the gift, donation or well wishes; and a signature from the eldest of the family or the signatures of a group of family members of the deceased. A funeral thank you note can also include positive attributes of the deceased.Full Answer >
The hymn "Now the Green Blade Rises" is an appropriate funeral song that touches on the issues of death and new life as well as how Christians can find hope and comfort in their faith. The song "All My Tears" by Julie Miller is a contemporary song for Christian funerals.Full Answer >
To plan a candlelight vigil, a person must determine where the vigil will be held, what time it will be held and who to invite. It is common for the vigil to be held at the locale of the deceased death, or in their favorite place.Full Answer >