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vigil

English translation: vigil, wake, watch, sitting with the body/corpse

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:vigil
English translation:vigil, wake, watch, sitting with the body/corpse
Entered by: Caryl Swift
Options:
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10:43 Mar 18, 2007
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / funeral rites
English term or phrase: vigil
In Catholic countries, when someone dies they are put in an open coffin (usually in a church) for 24 hours and people stay around in a kind of vigil (I think the habit comes from the time before modern medicine, when they wanted to make sure someone was really dead before they buried them - a good idea, methinks :-)

Is vigil the right word for such a thing in English?
Because it isn't done here... and my dictionaries are proving unhelpful on this.

Cheers
Paula Vaz-Carreiro
Local time: 05:11
vigil, wake, watch
Explanation:
I think that there is probably more than one word - and that, in part, it's going to depend on where it happens. For example, in Ireland, they have the tradition of a wake, which, as far as I know, certainly used to last for three days. On the other hand (from what I've read), in the USA (or certainly in some parts of it), viewings are held in funeral homes.

vig·il (vjl)
n.
1.
a. A watch kept during normal sleeping hours.
b. The act or a period of observing; surveillance.
2. The eve of a religious festival observed by staying awake as a devotional exercise.
3. Ritual devotions observed on the eve of a holy day. Often used in the plural.

Watch:
n.
b. A funeral wake.

Wake:
n.
1. A watch; a vigil.
2. A watch over the body of a deceased person before burial, sometimes accompanied by festivity. Also called regionally viewing.
(All from The Free Dictionary)

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Note added at 13 mins (2007-03-18 10:56:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Paula, neither Edith's answer nor your respoinse were there when I started writing mine. The Irish wake to which I referred above was most definitely held before the burial, although the term is indeed also used to describe the gathering after the burial in some countries/cultures.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-03-18 12:30:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

There's also 'to sit with the corpse' or 'to sit with the body'

http://tinyurl.com/27484v
http://tinyurl.com/2foo7g

The references I've just given seem to suggest that these are both expressions which cross a number of cultures and traditions.
Selected response from:

Caryl Swift
Poland
Local time: 06:11
Grading comment
Thanks everyone - and thanks for the justified agrees. Thanks Caryl for your very good and informative answer.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +7vigil, wake, watch
Caryl Swift
4 +4vigil (in the church) / wake (at home)
EdithK


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
vigil (in the church) / wake (at home)


Explanation:
at least in Ireland, a Catholic country

EdithK
Switzerland
Local time: 06:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks Edith. So vigil is fine is it? I know about wakes, but they are AFTER the funeral itself - we don't do those in PT.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nesrin: I remember the word from the Snow white cartoon (which I last watched only last year with my kids!) - Snow white was put in a glass coffin and the dwarfs kept eternal vigil by her side...
1 min

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
10 mins

agree  Will Matter
4 hrs

agree  Veronica Prpic Uhing: After the funeral we have "karmine" (funeral feast) and memorial mass -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funeral
4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +7
vigil, wake, watch


Explanation:
I think that there is probably more than one word - and that, in part, it's going to depend on where it happens. For example, in Ireland, they have the tradition of a wake, which, as far as I know, certainly used to last for three days. On the other hand (from what I've read), in the USA (or certainly in some parts of it), viewings are held in funeral homes.

vig·il (vjl)
n.
1.
a. A watch kept during normal sleeping hours.
b. The act or a period of observing; surveillance.
2. The eve of a religious festival observed by staying awake as a devotional exercise.
3. Ritual devotions observed on the eve of a holy day. Often used in the plural.

Watch:
n.
b. A funeral wake.

Wake:
n.
1. A watch; a vigil.
2. A watch over the body of a deceased person before burial, sometimes accompanied by festivity. Also called regionally viewing.
(All from The Free Dictionary)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2007-03-18 10:56:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Paula, neither Edith's answer nor your respoinse were there when I started writing mine. The Irish wake to which I referred above was most definitely held before the burial, although the term is indeed also used to describe the gathering after the burial in some countries/cultures.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-03-18 12:30:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

There's also 'to sit with the corpse' or 'to sit with the body'

http://tinyurl.com/27484v
http://tinyurl.com/2foo7g

The references I've just given seem to suggest that these are both expressions which cross a number of cultures and traditions.

Caryl Swift
Poland
Local time: 06:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 76
Grading comment
Thanks everyone - and thanks for the justified agrees. Thanks Caryl for your very good and informative answer.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
3 mins
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Cristina Santos: wake
15 mins
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  kmtext: I'd say a vigil. In Scotland, we also hold wakes before a funeral, each evening from the day of death. They tend to be like a prayer meeting and last for a couple of hours, whereas a vigil tends to be a private thing which lasts longer.
1 hr
  -> It really seems to depend rather on the culture concerned. I've just added 2 more suggestions to my answer, both of which appear to be used in a variety of cultures/traditions. Thank you :-)

agree  Will Matter: Nice answer. Very thorough and comprehensive. Good job.
4 hrs
  -> Dziękuję bardzo :-)

agree  Veronica Prpic Uhing
4 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
17 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Erich Ekoputra
2 days21 hrs
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
PRO (1): Erich Ekoputra


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