Honoring a Friend by Attending the Visitation
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An individual honors a friend by attending the rituals. Common rituals include the visitation, calling hours, or wake; the funeral or memorial service; and perhaps, the committal or scattering. What level of participation in prefuneral, funeral, and postfuneral rituals can be expected of a friend? In this chapter we examine the historic role of the visitation. The visitation may be perceived as more valuable than the funeral because it is conversation oriented while the funeral is liturgy or ritual focused. The visitation encourages interaction and dialogue not only with family but with other friends. Family and other friends assign significance to the length of time a particular friend stays. Having the wake at a funeral home, preserves the privacy of the residence for the chief mourner.