Wakes, Rosary Prayers at

Q: Are there any instructions for praying the rosary at a wake?

A: There are no firm instructions about praying the rosary at a wake. There are however customs or conventions which vary with cultures and ethnic background. Two basics should be kept in mind:

1) This is a time to say the sorrowful mysteries to commemorate Christ's passion and death, which are the causes of our resurrection to life eternal, and apply directly to the deceased.

2) This is also an occasion to commemorate the deceased, normally with the actual prayer for the deceased (Eternal rest grant unto her/him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her/him. May her/his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.) at the end of each decade or, as is done in some instances, after each Hail Mary. A brief reflection on each mystery is also appropriate.

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