contributed by Ronna Fleischman
In the United States, funeral practices for most ethnic groups and in most regions consists of a visitation or viewing period, a funeral services, and a burial.
The visitation, often called a wake, may occur in the home but most likely it will take place in a funeral home. The viewing is often held a day or two before the funeral. This is a time for mourners to pay their respects to the deceased and console the family members. Friends and family commonly send flowers and cards to the funeral home. Many families now prefer a donation be made to a favorite charity in lieu of sending flowers.