LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||23/AGO/2009 9:09 PM|
Wake is the
correct translation. The only ones I've attended have been in Latin
America. Long ago, without doubt they were customary in the USA but
now the deceased is taken to a funeral home. Friends and relatives are
invited to "view" the deceased at the funeral home between certain hours, but it tends to be very informal. You
can go, spend five minutes, and leave. It may sound like a joke in bad taste, but I've heard of a funeral home that would permit people to observe the deceased from the comfort of their car. For a wake, you need a body.
Memorials are gatherings that honor the dead. There are eulogies and often people are urged to say something (nice) about the dearly departed. For a memorial, a body is not required. In fact, I wouldn't expect a body at a memorial. If a body is present, it would be a funeral. If a sailor drowns at sea, for example, the family may hold a memorial not knowing where the body is. On the anniversary of the death of someone, perhaps his friends or relatives hold a memorial.
Death-watches can be for the living or dead. Often, the person is still alive but expected to die soon. When a prisoner is going to be executed, journalists or the family of the inmate may hold a death-watch. The same could be said of someone with a fatal illness who is expected to die momentarily. I think death-watch is also an old way to say wake. In other words, a death-watch could be for the living or the dead.
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