Wake (ceremony)

Wake (ceremony)

A wake is a ceremony associated with death. Traditionally, a wake takes place in the house of the deceased, with the body present; however, modern wakes are often performed at a funeral home.

The English word "wake" originated from the ancient Indo-European root "wog" or "weg," meaning "to be active." This evolved into several meanings, including "growth" ("vegetable"), "to become or stay alert," and "watching or guarding." The third also evolved into the word "watch," and it is in this sense that people have a "wake" for someone who recently died" [ [http://www.bartleby.com/61/roots/IE553.html cite book |author= |title=The American Heritage dictionary of the English language] |publisher=Houghton Mifflin |location=Boston |year=2000 |pages= |isbn=0-395-82517-2 |oclc= |doi=] . While the modern usage of the verb "wake" is to "become or stay alert", a "wake" for the dead harks back to the antiquated "watch or guard" sense. This is contrary to the urban legend that people at a wake are waiting in case the deceased should "wake up." [ [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cp0r3aa8EM8C&printsec=frontcover#PPA74,M1 cite book |author=Ivan Brunetti; Wilton, David A. |title=Word myths: debunking linguistic urban legends] |publisher=Oxford University Press |location=Oxford [Oxfordshire] |year=2004 |pages= |isbn=0-19-517284-1 |oclc= |doi=]

Departure customs such as 'emigrant wakes' were a marked feature in Ireland during the 19th century. [ Citation| first=Bill | last=Jones| coauthors=| contribution=‘Raising the Wind: Emigrating from Wales to the USA in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries| title=Annual Public Lecture| editor-first=| editor-last=| coeditors=| publisher=The Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies, Cardiff University| place=| pages=| date=| year=2003| id= | contribution-url=http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/cymraeg/welsh/welshAmerican/RaisingTheWind.pdf| format=| accessdate=2008-04-17 ]

ee also

*Nine nights
*Jazz funeral
*Month's Mind
*Shiva (Judaism)


External links

* [http://www.wyfda.org/basics_2.html History of Funeral Customs]
* [http://wordsoffireinkofblood.blogspot.com/2004/11/gaelic-island-wake.html A first hand account of a modern Irish Wake]

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