Post # 1
I’ve never been to anything but a southern funeral and watching an old episode of FRIENDS made me think “WTH! that’s not how it’s done here”. And for older people there is a wake that takes place in the deceased home before the funeral the next day. For those with no knowledge of a wake it means that the family and friends gather in the house and stay up all night with the body. The next day everyone gathers either at the funeral home or the persons house with the body visit for about an hour and then go the church or the funeral home after which people get in their cars and follow the body to the gravesite. And obviously they’re buried. When you see a funeral procession you PULL OVER or STOP the car! You NEVER continue to drive by a funeral procession. People sometimes get out of their cars too. Cops even stop traffic on back roads. And there is always tons of food after, almost everyone brings food over to the house. Sometimes they even gather at the house after the funeral. So what is a funeral like where you’re from?
Post # 3
Nothing like that. People go to the cemetary/funeral home and people say a few words. That’s it. Granted I have only been to one and heard of another from my family.
Post # 4
there is usually a wake the day before at the funeral home. they are usually only a couple of hours long, definitely not all night. I don’t usually go to the wakes though.
The funerals are usually the next day either at a church or funeral home. For the first hour or so they are usually open and people can go up to the casket to say goodbye to the body. Sometimes out in the gathering hall there will be pictures up of the person who died and everyone can look at them and talk about them. Once the funeral actually starts a director or priest says a few words. Then family members get up and say a few words or eulogies. At the church funerals there is usually music involved. I think you can have communion too.
After the funeral ceremony then everyone proceeds to the cemetary to lower the casket. I’ve been to veteran funerals where they will have taps played at this point and gun salutes. After that everyone usually gathers at a restaurant to have lunch together.
The funeral processions usually do have some kind of cop car leading them to the cemetary. All the cars usually have flags on them to mark them as part of a funeral. This doesn’t mean that other cars have to pull over though. The funeral procession usually stays in the right lane and other cars can go around. The funeral procession can stop traffic lights and people will have to wait for that. But I’ve never seen other people actually get out of their cars.
Post # 5
My family has the wakes in the family’s home too!!!!! I’m born & raised in the South, my family is all from Georgia– but I’m the only one out of all my friends that has ever even HEARD of having the wake in a person’s house. I live in Florida now, and parts of Florida are very much “not Southern” but most of my friends do come from Southern backgrounds & still have never heard of it! I was beginning to think my family was crazy…
Ex. of a Southern funeral: my grandpa died in Tampa, his body was flown back to his home to Georgia on a private plane with my Aunt & Mother (his wife had already passed), we had his wake in a family member’s home in Atlanta the night before the funeral. Someone stayed with his casket at all times through the night, it’s so they “never are alone or in an unfamiliar place like the funeral home”. The morning of the funeral, the hearse took his body to our family’s church where his service was held….we then had about 100 cars in a funeral procession with a dozen or so motorcycle cops take the procession from the church in Northeast suburbial Atlanta all the way across the interstate to south Atlanta where he was buried at a cemetary there. People ALWAYS stop on the side of the road to allow the processional to pass, as a sign of respect. On the interstate, the motorcycle cops did a tremendous job of making sure all the passerbys knew that this was a processional & to stay out of our lane so that they didn’t break the cars up.
After the burial, all the family gathers back at a family member’s home for lots and lots of food that is usually prepared by people from their church or friends of the neighborhood.
Very seldom is a funeral held in a funeral home, although like I said– not everyone has the wakes in their homes. Sometimes the wakes are the only thing held in the funeral home.
Post # 6
You mean people don’t huddle in the corner listening to football game on headsets during a funeral?!
Everybody we know has been cremated, so there was no burial or anything like that. The funerals I’ve been to have been small and somber. Food is always brought. They’ve always been short and simple. We didn’t have a funeral when my brother or grandmother died. We had a small private family gathering of us 3, talked about them a little, and that was it. We have a very small family, anyways, and our distant family would not fly out, so it made sense to do it privately. With a few of our friend’s family members, they’ve had the priest say nice things, you sit through a ceremony, you go to your friend’s house, bring a casserole, and go home a couple hours later.
I’ve never seen cars stop and people get out, though. People slow down, but if somebody stopped, I’m sure somebody would get rear-ended here.
Post # 7
I found this really interesting; you’re from the south and I’m from Canadabut most of it sounds very similar to what we do in my area. We don’t have a wake though. The day before the funeral there’s usually a “visitation” at the funeral home where the casket is set up and the family stands together in a line a lot like a recieving line for a wedding. And family friends or people who know the deceased, and sometimes people who never met the deceased, but are a friend of a family member and want to support them, they all come by and introduce themselves and give thier sympathies.
The actual funeral sounds the same, and I would say about 90% of people pull over for the procession, but then, in my area that’s about the same number that pull over for fire trucks and ambulances 😛 And we consider it pretty rude not to.
Post # 8
The ones I’ve been to have all gone: service about their life at the funeral home/church, at the end of the two smaller ones the family stood at the front and everyone walked by and gave their condolances and then there was a reception afterwards. None of them involved going to the cemetary or where ever, those were private family affairs.
Post # 9
ejs4y8 not that episode, though that was a funny one. Different funeral. . .
Post # 10
I second what Michellemybell said…but that’s probably because my hometown is about 30 minutes from London^^
Post # 11
well i’m jewish, and a lot of the funerals i’ve been to are for jews. we either go to the funeral or a service at the temple, and then do the processional to the cemetery (but people here don’t pay very much attention to that and will get right in front of you). then we go back to a family member’s house and everyone brings food for them and we eat. immediate family members have to sit shiva and grieve for a week, so during that week, and especially right after the funeral, people will come to visit and bring food.
Post # 12
Wow, nothing like ours! We have a wake the day before the funeral at the funeral home. Then the funeral itself takes place in either a church and a cemetery, or just a cemetery. Pretty average.
Post # 13
Being Vietnamese and Catholic we definitely have a totally different thing going on. No matter what day the person has passed on, the funeral is always on Saturday no matter what cost. Thursday, there is usually a mass with the readings done by the family at church. Then prayer at one of the families home. Friday is spent at the funeral home all day praying and a wake. We also have another small prayer service/mass. Then Saturday first thing in the morning, we are back at the funeral home and then a procession from the funeral home to the church. Full mass at the church and then a procession from the church to the cemetery for the burial. From there we go back to a relatives house and eat to celebrate that person life. Also being Vietnamese Catholic, There are certain outfits that everyone has to wear and it designates how close you are the decease. Usually there is a full outfit for sons, daugthers and spouse of the decease. Everyone else usually wears white shirt and black pants. The grandchildren wear a headpiece that is white and it is tied a certain way to designate if it is paternal or maternal. Great grandchildren wear a yellow headpiece and if there are great great grandchildren, they wear a red headpiece.
Post # 14
I did a north v south funeral in a matter of weeks.
North: LOTS of black, pretty similar to tv-style funerals where it is quiet and people wear black and black and black. there was a wake the night before, and the whole thing was fast. it seemed like they wasted no time in slapping him in the ground, but if you came from out of town, you did have a bit of time to visit.
South: not much black, like an extended church service. really long and loud. The wake/viewing lasts for a week or so(also for other deaths, this seems common), so the actual service-viewing is pretty short. :/
For both, everyone went to the cemetery to watch the casket get lowered.
Post # 15
I’m with artbee, most of the funerals I have been to are Jewish funerals, which happen the next day (unless they die on the Sabbath, then it’s a couple days later). There is no embalming, it’s always closed casket, and everything is really quick. Most of the grieving happens after the burial, versus a visitation or wake beforehand. Going to the cemetary people are pretty good about moving out of the way for the cars when the “funeral” signs on everyone’s cars.
My only experience with Catholic funerals have been sitting in a room crying for 3 days with an open casket, and everyone in black. The actual service has been in the church and again I find most people are nice enough to let the group of cars go.
Post # 16
There aren’t wakes here. I’ve never even heard of a funeral with a wake. Usually everyone just shows up the day of the funeral and goes to the funeral and the close family goes to the actual grave for the internment. Afterward there’s food and drink somewhere and still later many of the family spends time together in a close relative’s home. That’s about it though.