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Viewing (museum display)
Museum of Funeral Customs

In funeral services, a viewing (sometimes referred to as Calling Hours, Reviewal, Funeral Visitation or a Wake in the United States and Canada) is the time that the family and friends come to see the deceased after they have been prepared by a funeral home.[1] It is generally recommended that any body to be viewed be embalmed in order to create the best possible presentation of the deceased.[2] A viewing may take place at the funeral parlor, in a family home or at a church or chapel prior to the actual funeral service. Some cultures, such as the Māori of New Zealand, often take the body to the Marae or tribal community hall.

Viewing is sometimes combined with a celebration of the decedent's life called a wake although in some places the term wake is interchangeable with viewing. Many authorities consider the viewing important to the grieving process as it gives a chance to say goodbye on a personal level.[3] It also can make it easier to accept the reality of the death, which can often seem unreal especially in the industrial world where death is handled by professionals and the family may only know of a death through phone calls rather than experiencing it as it occurs.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Handbook for Mortals : What happens at funeral viewing hours?". Mywhatever.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Nea.gov.sg. 2005-03-03. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  3. ^ "Access". Medscape. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  4. ^ "What is the Difference Between "Viewing" and "Visitation"?". Funerals.org. 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viewing_(funeral) — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

The Patriot-News
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:52:30 -0700

Eugenia Smith, who died serving her second term on the Harrisburg City Council last week, will be remembered at a viewing and funeral service Saturday, according to funeral directors. A celebration of the Harrisburg native's life was set for noon ...
Spartanburg Herald Journal
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:18:45 -0700

You might feel that you have met at least one of these oddball characters before at some wedding, viewing, funeral or church social. This will mark Edington-Leyshon's second appearance on the BRCC stage, following her role as G in “A Carolina Story.
KSAT San Antonio
Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:26:25 -0700

Toy drive honors boy, 4, killed in apparent murder-suicide. Family holds toy drive at boy's viewing, funeral. Author: Mariza Mendoza, Reporter, mzmendoza@ksat.com. Published On: Mar 27 2014 10:22:17 PM CDT Updated On: Mar 28 2014 02:40:49 AM CDT.
Centre Daily Times
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 20:33:45 -0700

At the request of a family, Intorre is there for the viewing, funeral and celebration of life, taking photos that capture memories and more, she said. “This is more for the memories for those who are enjoying the people who come to pay their respects ...
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:11:15 -0700

Gardner texted me from Lakisha's funeral: "I am here at the viewing, funeral will start soon — so incredibly sad. They are showing photos of her life. Baby photo of her as a baby and also photos of her when she was first born. It's madness that these ...

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