$31,732 to go to meet our Challenge Grant, by December 1st. Your gift now will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

WAKE

A watch or vigil. The term was originally applied to the all-night vigil in Anglo-Saxon times before certain major holidays. By the sixteenth century it was used of the holiday itself, and of the fair held to honor a local saint. In some countries, e.g., Ireland, a wake is the watch over the body of the deceased before burial. And more commonly a wake is the period, one or two days before the funeral, when mourners may visit the body of the deceased and offer their condolences to the bereaved. THe Church now provides for a liturgical service, if so desired, during the wake. It is called Vigil for the Deceased.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Putting Our Best Foot Forward 5 hours ago
Contentious Spirits, Beware! October 30
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6