The Natural Funeral supports those families that want to spend time with their loved-one after death during a vigil or wake.

A vigil is a special time for families to gather together, sometimes in a home setting, to mark the transition of death in the presence of their deceased loved-one. Vigils can range from a few hours to days, and may involve prayers, readings, singing, or simply coming together to share stories and to bear witness to death.

Families may find it healing to have this additional time to take in the significance of their loved-one’s departure in their own unique way, without the need to hurry. Our Natural Funeral staff is experienced in advising families on vigils and can provide expert guidance.

When a family chooses to hold a vigil, what is possible?

  • Natural Funeral staff will meet with you ahead of death to create a care plan that incorporates your vision and outlines how we will support you.
  • When your loved-one passes, there is no need to rush when you have chosen to hold a vigil. Families often take some time to simply “be” with death, taking in the momentousness of the occasion.
  • If you choose our Home Prairie Package, The Natural Funeral staff will assist with Reverent Body Preparation in accordance with your wishes (as expressed in the care plan agreed upon before death occurs).
  • The vigil room with your loved-one’s body is decorated with flowers, candles, mementos so it becomes a beautiful, uplifted space to honor the deceased.
  • Family members and friends may come to “pay respects” or abide with the deceased in accordance with individual beliefs or practices.
  • When the vigil concludes, there may be a closing ceremony before the body of your loved-one is transported to a place of shelter before cremation or burial.

Vigils or wakes are part of what in modern usage is known as a “home funeral”. For more information on home funerals, visit Natural Transitions and Home Funeral Alliance.