What is the Party After a Funeral Called? Understanding Post-Funeral Gatherings

Have you ever attended a funeral and after all the tears and grief, been invited to a party? This social event is common in some cultures and communities, marking the end of mourning and the beginning of a new phase in life. But what is this kind of party called?

It depends on where you are and the customs you follow. In some places, it’s referred to as a “wake,” in others it’s called a “reception,” “memorial gathering,” or even a “celebration of life.” The purpose of this gathering may differ depending on the location and traditions, but it usually involves sharing stories and memories, food and drink, and finding comfort in the company of others.

In recent years, some individuals have started to embrace the concept of a “funeral after-party” as a way to celebrate the life of the deceased and remember them in a more positive light. Some may find this idea distasteful or inappropriate, but for others, it’s just another way of showing love and respect for the person they lost. Whatever you choose to call it, one thing is for sure: it’s a chance to come together and honor the life and legacy of someone who will be dearly missed.

Funeral Rituals

Funerals are an important part of mourning and saying goodbye to a loved one who has passed away. In many cultures, there are specific rituals and traditions that are observed to honor the deceased and provide comfort to their loved ones. One such tradition is the party or gathering that takes place after the funeral.

  • The party after a funeral is known in different cultures by different names. In Ireland, it is called a “wake,” in Mexico, it is known as a “velorio,” and in Ghana, it is called a “one-week.”
  • The purpose of this gathering is to provide an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the life of the deceased. It is a time for sharing stories, memories, and offering condolences to the family.
  • The party after a funeral is often held at the family home or a nearby community center. Food and drinks are typically served, and there may be music, dancing, and other forms of entertainment.

While the party after a funeral may seem like an unorthodox way to mourn, it is an important part of the grieving process for many cultures. It allows the family and friends of the deceased to connect and support one another during a difficult time.

Celebratory Traditions

While a funeral is typically a somber event, there are many cultures and traditions that honor the life of the deceased by celebrating their memory. These celebrations can take place after the funeral, and can vary widely depending on the culture and customs of the family.

Examples of Celebratory Traditions

  • In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a holiday that honors the deceased. Families build altars with photos, candles, and their loved one’s favorite food and drink. They believe that on this day, the souls of the dead return to the world of the living to be with their families and celebrate their lives.
  • In some African cultures, after the funeral, a feast is held to honor the deceased. This feast is typically a large, communal event with music and dancing.
  • In Japan, the Bon Festival is a time when families visit the graves of their ancestors and clean and decorate them. It is also a time to remember and honor their loved ones who have passed.

Memorial Services

Traditional memorial services are usually held at a religious institution, such as a church, synagogue or mosque. However, many people choose to hold a more personalized service, that may involve sharing memories, playing music, and displaying photos of the deceased.

These services provide an opportunity for family and friends to come together to remember and celebrate the life of the deceased. They can be held in a variety of locations, such as a park or community center, and can be informal or formal.

Funeral Receptions

After the funeral, it is common to have a reception or gathering for family and friends. This can be held at a home, or a rented event space, and is typically catered. This reception provides an opportunity for the family to connect with friends and relatives, who may have traveled from far away to attend the funeral.

Food and Drinks Decorations Music and Entertainment
Appetizers and finger foods Floral arrangements Musicians or bands
Buffet-style meals Candles Photo slideshow or video tribute
Non-alcoholic beverages Photos of the deceased Games or activities for children
Coffee, tea and water Memorial favors or keepsakes

Regardless of the specific traditions and customs, post-funeral celebrations provide an opportunity to honor and celebrate the memory of the deceased. These celebrations also bring family and friends together, providing a chance to comfort and support each other during this difficult time.

Cultural Beliefs around Death

Death is a universal reality that every culture has to face. However, the way different societies approach and understand death varies from one culture to another. The cultural beliefs around death shape how people mourn, commemorate, and celebrate the life of the deceased. Here are some of the most prevalent cultural beliefs around death.

Traditional Funeral Ceremonies

  • African cultures believe in the importance of ancestral worship and the need to respect the dead. Traditional funeral ceremonies often involve elaborate rituals that honor the deceased and appease the spirits.
  • In many Asian cultures such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, funeral ceremonies involve elaborate rituals that aim to guide the deceased’s soul to the afterlife.
  • In Western cultures, funeral ceremonies often involve religious rites, eulogies, and reflecting on the life of the deceased.

The Afterlife Beliefs

Many cultures believe in the afterlife, a spiritual realm where the soul goes after death. The afterlife beliefs vary between cultures and religions.

In ancient Egyptian culture, the afterlife was considered a continuation of earthly life, and mummification was practiced to preserve the body so that the soul could recognize and inhabit it after death.

In Hinduism, the soul is believed to reincarnate after death until the ultimate goal of achieving moksha, a state of liberation is reached. Funerary rites aim to assist the soul on its journey to the next life.

Post-Funeral Gathering

Many cultures have a post-funeral gathering or reception to celebrate the life of the deceased and provide comfort to the bereaved. The gathering helps to ease the transition from mourning to acceptance.

Culture Post-Funeral Gathering
Irish Wake A gathering before the funeral where the family and friends come together to celebrate the life of the deceased with food, drink, and music.
Mexican Dia de Los Muertos A three-day celebration to honor and remember the deceased with feasts, parades, and offerings of food and flowers at the gravesite.
Japanese Ochugen and Oseibo Gift-giving traditions to express gratitude and respect to the ones who have passed.

Cultural beliefs around death reflect the values, traditions, and spirituality of a community. Understanding these beliefs can help to provide comfort and respect to the bereaved and honor the life of the deceased.

Meaningful Gestures to Honor the Deceased

Funerals can be difficult as they mark the final goodbye to a loved one. The process of planning a funeral can allow us to begin the healing process, but it can be a challenging and emotional time. One way to honor the departed is by hosting a gathering after the funeral known as the “repast” or the “wake.” This is a time to reminisce and celebrate the life of the deceased surrounded by friends and family.

  • Photos: A great way to remember and honor the person who has passed on is through photos. You can create a photo wall or a slideshow of pictures that showcase the life of the deceased. This is a beautiful way to celebrate their life and cherish the memories.
  • Favorite Memory Cards: You can set up a memory card station where guests can write down their favorite memories of the deceased. These cards can then be put into a memory box to be cherished for years to come. It is also a great way to comfort and support the grieving family.
  • Candles: Lighting candles in memory of the deceased is a symbolic way to honor their life. You can also have a candlelight vigil to show respect and love.

Another way to honor the departed is to make a charitable donation in their name. Many families will choose a charity that was close to the heart of the person they lost. This is a great way to continue their legacy and make a positive impact in the world.

Charity Name Description
American Cancer Society A nonprofit organization that funds cancer research and provides support programs to those affected by cancer.
The Alzheimer’s Association An organization that provides support to those affected by Alzheimer’s and funds research for the disease.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline A hotline that provides crisis intervention and support to those struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Overall, there are many meaningful gestures that can be done to honor the deceased, and it is important to choose the ones that resonate with you and your loved ones. Remember, it is not about the quantity of gestures, it is about the quality and the intention behind them.

Social Etiquette in Grieving

Dealing with the grief of losing a loved one is never easy. It is a challenging time, and there are many customs and traditions that need to be followed when attending a funeral or wake. One important consideration is how to behave at the party after the funeral.

The Party after a Funeral

  • The party after a funeral is called a “repas funeraire” in French, and it is a tradition in many cultures to gather with friends and family to eat, drink, and share memories of the deceased.
  • The party is an opportunity to offer condolences, offer support, and to show respect to the family of the deceased.
  • It’s important to dress appropriately for the party, as it is still a formal event. Avoid wearing bright colors, and stick to more subdued tones for your clothing.

5 Social Etiquette Tips when Attending a Party after a Funeral

When attending the party after the funeral, there are certain social etiquette guidelines and expectations that should be followed. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Be Respectful: This is still a formal occasion, so be respectful and mindful of the feelings of the family. Offer your condolences, but also be sure to listen to others and show empathy for their loss.
  • Avoid Arguing: Avoid engaging in any argumentative discussions or debates, and steer clear of any controversial topics.
  • Limit Drinking: While it is okay to have a drink or two, don’t overindulge in alcohol. Drinking excessively can lead to inappropriate behavior and can be disrespectful to the event.
  • Be Mindful of your Mannerisms: Avoid making any loud or obnoxious comments or behavior. Remember that it is a solemn occasion.
  • Respect the Host: Finally, be respectful of the host and the rules of the party. If there are specific guidelines or requests, make sure to follow them accordingly.

Avoiding Common Social Faux Pas

It’s important to avoid any social faux pas or common mistakes that can be disrespectful to the family and other guests. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Mistake to avoid Why it’s disrespectful
Bringing up controversial topics It can lead to arguments and potentially ruin the occasion
Talking excessively about oneself It can be self-centered and disrespectful to the occasion and other guests
Showing up late It can cause inconvenience for other guests and disrupt the flow of the event

Remember, the party after the funeral is a time to come together to celebrate the life of a loved one and to support those who are grieving. By keeping these social etiquette tips in mind, you can ensure that you are respectful and supportive during this difficult time.

Unique Customs in Different Countries

One of the traditions that follow a funeral is a gathering called the “funeral reception” or the “wake,” a party held after the burial or cremation of the deceased. This event is a time for the bereaved to come together, celebrate the life of their loved one, and find solace in each other’s company. Although this custom is observed in many cultures worldwide, the way the party is held can vary from one country to another.

  • In the Philippines, mourners hold a nine-day novena for the dead, where prayers are said every evening. On the ninth day, following the burial, the family of the deceased hosts a large communal meal, where guests wear bright colors instead of wearing all black.
  • In Ghana and Nigeria, there is a tradition of “Celebration of Life” where the family of the deceased pays to hire an expensive coffin that is then paraded around town. After the burial, there is often a party with loud music, drinking, and dancing.
  • In China, mourners pay their respects by burning incense while offering food and money to the dead. After the funeral, a sumptuous meal is served to the family, minor decorations are taken down, and mirrors are covered with red cloth to ward off evil spirits.

While the post-funeral parties in many cultures are seen as a way to celebrate the life of the departed, there are other cultures where these events are solemn and modest. In Japan, it is customary for mourners to bring white flowers and money to the funeral, which is then given to the family of the departed. A day after the burial, the family of the deceased is expected to host a small reception, but with only close friends and family, and no alcohol is served.

Here is a table that summarizes the different customs held by various cultures:

Country Customs
Philippines Nine-day novena for the dead, followed by a feast on the ninth day
Ghana and Nigeria “Celebration of life” party after the burial
China Burn incense, offer food and money, and serve a sumptuous meal to the family
Japan Bring white flowers and money to the funeral, host a small reception with close friends and family, and no alcohol is served

Overall, the post-funeral gathering is an essential ritual in many cultures, as it helps the bereaved find comfort and support during a challenging time. While customs may differ from country to country, they all share a common intention: to honor and celebrate the life of the departed.

Symbolisms of Life and Death

When talking about the party after a funeral, it is important to dive into the symbolism and the deeper meanings behind it. The celebration of life and the mourning of death are both important aspects of the human experience, which is evident in the traditions, cultures, and beliefs surrounding death and the afterlife.

One of the most prominent numbers in the symbolism of life and death is the number seven. In many cultures, the number seven represents completion, perfection, and spiritual awakening. It is believed to hold a powerful energy and is associated with many significant aspects of life and death.

  • In Christianity, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
  • In Judaism, seven is considered a divine number and represents creation, as well as the cycles of life.
  • In Hinduism, there are seven chakras or energy centers in the body that represent the flow of life force energy.

The number seven is also significant in the mourning process. In Judaism, shiva is a seven-day period of mourning where family members traditionally stay at home and receive visitors to express condolences. In Mexican culture, the Day of the Dead celebration lasts seven days, during which time families gather to remember and honor loved ones who have passed away.

But why is the number seven so important in the symbolism of life and death? Some believe it represents the seven stages of life, while others see it as a lucky or sacred number. Regardless, the significance of seven in the context of death and mourning is evident across cultures and religions.

Culture/Religion Significance of Seven
Christianity Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
Judaism Shiva period of seven days of mourning
Mexican Culture Day of the Dead celebration lasting seven days

The party after a funeral is a celebration of the life of the loved one who has passed away. It is an opportunity to honor their memory, share stories, and find comfort in the support of family and friends. The symbolism of life and death is an important aspect of this celebration, reminding us of the cyclical and transformative nature of existence.

What is the party after a funeral called?

Q: Is there a name for the gathering that takes place after a funeral?
A: Yes, it is called a “repast” or “repass.”

Q: What exactly is a repast or repass?
A: It is a gathering where family members and friends of the deceased come together for food and drinks.

Q: Who typically hosts the repast/repass?
A: It can be hosted by the family of the deceased or close friends.

Q: When does the repast/repass usually take place?
A: It is usually held immediately following the funeral service or burial.

Q: Is it necessary to attend the repast/repass?
A: While it is not mandatory, it is often considered a sign of respect to the deceased and their family to attend the repast/repass.

Q: What kind of food is typically served at the repast/repass?
A: It varies depending on the culture and traditions of the family, but common dishes include finger foods, sandwiches, salads, and desserts.

Q: How can I contribute to a repast/repass?
A: You can offer to bring a dish or contribute to the expenses of the gathering.

Closing Thoughts

We hope this article helped answer your questions about what the gathering after a funeral is called and provided helpful information on what to expect. Remember, attending a repast or repass shows support for the grieving family and is a way to honor the memory of the deceased. Thank you for reading and be sure to check back for more informative articles.