why do they call it a wake at a funeral

Because the Irish have big respect for the recently departed. In some wakes, the body of the deceased is placed in a sitting position so that folk who knew. Because the Irish have big respect for the recently departed. In some wakes, the body of the deceased is placed in a sitting position so that folk who knew him/her can come in and speak to their departed friend relative or even enemy. It s a Celtic thing really, probably best described as supporting the bodies of fallen hero s in battle and arranging them in such as manner that they form a memorial, with their swords, chariots etc.


This memorial to the fallen can then be seen by everyone passing that way while the bodies slowly rot away. The Irish have held on to a vast amount of their ancient culture and the reason for this is that they refuse to change that much and are not very fond of new ideas. Being Irish or just plain Celtic, is a way of life in and out of time, thus departure from this time into the next is but a short part of the Celtic belief that life flows onward forever through time and into the next time beyond and so forth unto the beginning and that there is no end, ever.


Look down into a dark pool and see your reflection. There you see yourself looking back from the next time where you are to go when you are finished with this time. Celtic time is as a vast ball of string, of which there is no beginning nor end. Time for the Celts is therefore not linear but looped back upon itself. Events which may seem historic to non-Celts are for the Celts happening as we speak and continue to happen forever. Thus our heros live with us forever too. Hope that helps explain it a bit.
The practice of holding wakes originates from a combination of two ancient Anglo-Saxon traditions.


Early Christians held annual celebrations in commemoration of the completion or dedication of a new church or parish. These celebrations were known as "wakes" and involved feasting, sports and dancing. The following day would be recognized as a holiday by that parish and the night in between would be reserved for overnight prayer and meditation in the church. Alongside the religious wake was the tradition of "waking the corpse," which has its origins long before Christianity. This practice of holding an all-night vigil over the body of the deceased involved mourning chants and sharing the life story of the deceased.


The practice has its roots in superstition, suggests the Encyclopaedia Britannica, citing a fear that evil spirits might harm or otherwise steal the body. These superstitions, coupled with practical concerns about rats and other vermin disturbing the body as it was prepared for burial, met with the above Christian tradition and soon the all-night vigils over the dead began to involve prayer, effectively combining the two forms of "wakes" that were practiced at the time.

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