What Happens At A Funeral Viewing?
Can You Touch A Body At A Funeral

When someone dies, one of the first steps in the grieving process is having a viewing. This is an opportunity for friends and family to say goodbye to their loved ones before they are buried or cremated. During a viewing, the deceased’s body is present in an open casket. The dead will have been embalmed and prepared by the funeral home, in most cases, and be otherwise ready for burial or cremation. It’s important to remember that this is not a party – it’s a time for quiet reflection and mourning.

What Is a Funeral Viewing?

What Happens At A Funeral Viewing

A funeral viewing is when the deceased’s body is displayed in an open casket. Friends and family can come and pay their respects to the person who has died. The funeral viewing usually takes place before the funeral service. It gives people a chance to say goodbye to the deceased more personally.

The body is usually prepared for the funeral viewing by embalming it. This helps to keep the body from decomposing too quickly. The body is often dressed in more excellent clothing and made up to look as lifelike as possible.

A funeral viewing can be a very emotional experience for those who are grieving. It is also an essential part of accepting that someone has died.

What Happens During a Funeral Viewing?

A funeral viewing, also known as awake, is a time for family and friends to remember the deceased. The body is typically presented in an open casket, and guests may line up to pay their respects. In some cultures, it is traditional for the deceased to be dressed in their finest clothing, and their hair and makeup may be done by a professional.

A photo of the deceased may also be placed in the casket or on display nearby. Funeral viewings often occur at a funeral home, but they can also be held at a church or other public space.

Guests may stay for a few minutes or hours, depending on their relationship with the deceased and schedule. During this time, they may exchange stories about the dead, offer condolences to the family, or sit in silence. While funeral viewings can be somber occasions, they often provide comfort and closure for those who are grieving.

What Is the Purpose of a Funeral Viewing?

A funeral viewing is a formal event where the deceased’s body is displayed in an open casket. A funeral viewing aims to give friends and family one last chance to see the deceased and say goodbye. In many cultures, it is also seen as a way to honor the dead.

A funeral viewing typically takes place before the funeral service, and it often includes a period of visitation where mourners can pay their respects to the deceased and their family.

The casket is usually placed at the front of the room, and guests typically file past in single file. Some may stop to say a prayer or offer condolence, while others take a moment to reflect on the deceased’s life. A funeral viewing can be a powerful and healing experience for both mourners and the bereaved.

Funeral Viewing Etiquette

Funeral viewings, or wakes, are a time for family and friends to gather and pay their respects to the deceased. They typically take place the day before or the day of the funeral service. While there is no one right way to conduct a viewing, some basic etiquette guidelines should be followed. 

First, it is essential to dress respectably. This means avoiding anything too casual or revealing. Second, be mindful of your body language. Maintain a respectful posture and prevent any disruptive gestures or movements. Third, be aware of your words and actions.

Refrain from using profanity or making any jokes about the deceased. Finally, remember to show kindness and compassion to those who are grieving. Ultimately, the goal is to provide support and comfort during this difficult time. 

While funeral viewings can be somber occasions, they can also be a time for celebrating the life of a loved one. By following these simple etiquette tips, you can help ensure that the focus remains on honoring the lived life.

How to Prepare for a Body Viewing

A funeral viewing is a significant opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one. The following tips will help you to prepare for this solemn occasion.

First, it is essential to choose the right outfit. While you want to look respectful, you also want to be comfortable. If possible, avoid wearing heels or other uncomfortable shoes. You will be standing for long periods, and you don’t want your feet to hurt.

Second, be prepared for large crowds. Funeral viewings often attract many people, so it is essential to be patient. There may be a line to speak with the family, and you may have to wait your turn.

Third, take some time to yourself before the viewing begins. This is an emotionally charged event, and you may need a few moments to compose yourself before entering the room. Once you are inside, take your time and move at your own pace. There is no need to hurry.

Fourth, if you feel overwhelmed, there is no shame in leaving early. Viewings can be overwhelming, and it is perfectly normal to need some time to process your emotions. Don’t feel like you have to stay until the very end.

FAQs

What’s the Difference Between Viewing and Visitation?

Funeral visitation hours are typically scheduled before the funeral service. Friends and family members come to the funeral home to pay their respects and offer condolences to the grieving family. Funeral viewings are a chance for the community to support one another and share memories of the deceased.

On the other hand, funeral services are held later and are typically conducted by a clergy member. The service is a more formal occasion, and it usually includes eulogies, readings, and prayers. Funeral services are generally followed by a graveside service or burial.

Conclusion

Body viewing for our loved ones should be done with care, compassion, and patience. By keeping in mind a few simple etiquette tips, you can help to create a respectful and healing environment for all. And don’t forget to take some time before the viewing begins. This is an emotionally charged event, and you may need a few moments to compose yourself before entering the room.