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[POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

General discussion - Feel free to discuss anything you want here. Firearm related is preferred, but not required

What do you call it?

Visitation
3
13%
Wake
5
22%
Viewing
10
43%
Other
5
22%
 
Total votes : 23

[POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby allingeneral » Thu, 12 Apr 2012 21:17:24

What do you call the last paying of respects to a deceased friend or loved one just prior to their interment?
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby Diomed » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 00:47:50

I went with other, because what it's called depends on what's happening.

A visitation is where there's family receiving friends, associates, etc., and there need not be a body present; at least, it's not on display if it is. For example, the deceased was cremated. Not really anything to look at there.

A viewing is similar to a visitation, but the body's on display.

A wake is a party in honor of the decedent. There may or may not be a body present, depending on where it's taking place.


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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby SHMIV » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 03:08:16

Diomed wrote:
A wake is a party in honor of the decedent. There may or may not be a body present, depending on where it's taking place.



Once upon a time, a body WAS needed for a wake, otherwise there would be no reason for the party. The point of the party was to attempt to awaken the deceased with a loud ruckus. At the time that the wake came into fashion, it seems that folks were getting mistakenly pronounced dead, then buried alive.

Now you know why it's called a wake.
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby KaosDad » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 09:09:05

What Diomed said.
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby Palladin » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 12:04:34

I call it closure. I've been to all three of what you listed. The best are more like a party, a celebration of life, specifically the deceased life.

They don't always play out that way, though...
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby SilentServiceVet » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 14:26:28

Maybe it's a regional thing? In Arkansas we call viewing the body prior to the internment, the "visitation." But honestly, I've heard it referred to by all three words.
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby allingeneral » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 16:16:12

To give a bit more depth to it...I think it's regional as well. I'm from Illinois, and I never heard it referred to anything but a "visitation". TheWife (from Virginia) says she's never heard it referred to as anything other than a "viewing".

Judging from the responses thus far - TheWife wins :)
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby dorminWS » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 16:33:21

allingeneral wrote:To give a bit more depth to it...I think it's regional as well. I'm from Illinois, and I never heard it referred to anything but a "visitation". TheWife (from Virginia) says she's never heard it referred to as anything other than a "viewing".

Judging from the responses thus far - TheWife wins :)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And I, from Southwest Virginia, where archaic linguistic usages are common and the old predominant Scots-Irish heritage is still strong, have most often heard it called a "wake". But a lot of the older folks will still say "Joe's a-layin' a corpse tonight".
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby Kreutz » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 17:39:04

Never heard anything besides "wake". The other two I've never heard before. Perhaps wake is primarily a Northeastern term?


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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby dorminWS » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 17:48:08

Kreutz wrote:Never heard anything besides "wake". The other two I've never heard before. Perhaps wake is primarily a Northeastern term?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Don't think so. It's too common in the Southern Appalachians. I was thinking the Irish brought the term over, but it seems to be derived from Old English:
........................................
Origin of WAKE

partly from Middle English waken (past wook, past participle waken), from Old English wacan to awake (past wōc, past participle wacen); partly from Middle English wakien, waken (past & past participle waked), from Old English wacian to be awake (past wacode, past participle wacod); akin to Old English wæccan to watch, Latin vegēre to enliven
First Known Use: before 12th century
........................................
So it seems likely that the Elizabethan Englishmen that settled most of our eastern seabord from Georgia to New England probably brought the term with them.
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby Kreutz » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 18:00:10

May be on to something there, the NE is heavily Irish.


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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby SilentServiceVet » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 22:29:51

dorminWS wrote:
allingeneral wrote:To give a bit more depth to it...I think it's regional as well. I'm from Illinois, and I never heard it referred to anything but a "visitation". TheWife (from Virginia) says she's never heard it referred to as anything other than a "viewing".

Judging from the responses thus far - TheWife wins :)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And I, from Southwest Virginia, where archaic linguistic usages are common and the old predominant Scots-Irish heritage is still strong, have most often heard it called a "wake". But a lot of the older folks will still say "Joe's a-layin' a corpse tonight".


I've heard "wake" used often too. I recently attended my aunt's funeral back in my hometown in Arkansas a couple months ago and "wake" was used by my mom. To echo what you said Dormin, my mother's side of the family is Scotch-Irish (McGuire) with a wee bit of Cherokee -- my great-grandmother was 100% Cherokee. That, and the history of the word "wake" explains much.
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby Reverenddel » Sun, 15 Apr 2012 15:26:55

TheWife (from Virginia) says she's never heard it referred to as anything other than a "viewing".

I was gonna say... I'm Hanover born, and bred... and it's never been called anything in our friends, and family but a "viewing".

I like the explanation of "Wake" though... However, I want to know what the "Potluck" after every funeral in Va is called.

Can't be a "wake", and "reception" sounds like a party... "honorary dinner"?


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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby dorminWS » Sun, 15 Apr 2012 16:01:40

SilentServiceVet wrote:
dorminWS wrote:
allingeneral wrote:To give a bit more depth to it...I think it's regional as well. I'm from Illinois, and I never heard it referred to anything but a "visitation". TheWife (from Virginia) says she's never heard it referred to as anything other than a "viewing".

Judging from the responses thus far - TheWife wins :)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And I, from Southwest Virginia, where archaic linguistic usages are common and the old predominant Scots-Irish heritage is still strong, have most often heard it called a "wake". But a lot of the older folks will still say "Joe's a-layin' a corpse tonight".


I've heard "wake" used often too. I recently attended my aunt's funeral back in my hometown in Arkansas a couple months ago and "wake" was used by my mom. To echo what you said Dormin, my mother's side of the family is Scotch-Irish (McGuire) with a wee bit of Cherokee -- my great-grandmother was 100% Cherokee. That, and the history of the word "wake" explains much.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Another cultural confluence here: The Cherokee were thick on the ground in Southern Appalachia before the US Government transported them over the Trail of Tears to a western desert. They were a high-level culture with their own alphabet and written language. Intermarriage with the white newcomers (predominantly Scots-Irish) was not uncommon. Also with the so-called "Melungeons". The Melungeons were here (here being Western North Carolina, Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and Northeast Tennessee) when the first English settlers arrived. They were olive-skinned folks whose blue and green eyes were almond-shaped and who who spoke Elizabethan English with curious foreign components and called themselves "Portugees". They had a distinct culture that was neither African, Native American, nor European in nature. Their origin remains undetermined, but there is said to be some genetic evidence that they may have been partially descended from slaves of the Spanish who were captured from the Anatolian area of the Mediteranean in the course of Spain's war with the Turks and sent to Spain's colonies in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Sir Francis Drake was said to have liberated a large number of these people during raids on Spanish colonies in Florida/Georgia/South Carolina intending to repatriate them, but put them off the boat in favor of returning Englishmen to England from Colonies on the Mid-Atlantic coast. Since they were here first, they had the best land. As a consequence, our "English" forebearers classified them as "persons of color" and dispossessed them. Up until after World War II they pretty much avoided contact with "white folks" at all costs. Now they have all but merged with the rest of the Hillbilly Nation. "Melungeon blood" is also not that uncommon in the Southern Appalachians, either, but it was usually, until very recently, treated as a disgraceful family secret. I know I'm way off-point here, but the Melungeons did have a curious burial custom: they used to erect little buildings over the graves of their loved ones and keep them whitewashed.
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Re: [POLL] Visitation, Viewing or Wake?

Postby Reverenddel » Mon, 16 Apr 2012 09:56:25

Yep! On my pop's side we have "Melungeons" (I'm adopted). It's interesting who "discovered" America. :roll:


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