The Irish Wake is perhaps one of the best known funeral traditions associated with Ireland. The Wake, the glorious send-off of departed loved ones, is a prominent feature of Irish funeral traditions, but is seen less and less often in modern Ireland and is now almost unknown in the cities. But in many country areas the practice of watching over the recently deceased from the time of death to burial is still followed and is an important part of the grieving process, which is why many Irish funerals, outside of the cities, are still preceded by a wake.
The origin of the wake probably dates back to the ancient Jewish custom of leaving the sepulchre, or burial chamber, of a recently departed relative unsealed for three days before finally closing it up, during which time family members would visit frequently in the hope of seeing signs of a return to life.
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