When someone dies, does the dinner or meal that often follows have a particular name?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to Everplans, a company that helps older people organize and plan financial, legal, and end-of-life decisions, the meal that follows a funeral is called the funeral reception. It is referred to as a reception because, much like a wedding reception, there is the gathering of friends and family who come to celebrate the life of the loved one. And, much like wedding gatherings, relatives come together who have not seen each other for some time and have the opportunity to reunite and share experiences and memories. Of course, the occasion is not the joyous one that a wedding is, but it is one that can have a certain pleasant outcome as the family of the loved one is reassured that there are caring relatives and friends gathered to give emotional support in their time of grief and need.

Funeral receptions can also be called both a reception (to indicate the gathering of people) and a funeral repast, which means a sumptuous meal. The meal is generally held at the home of a family member or close friend. When large numbers of people are expected, the funeral repast may be held at funeral homes or places of worship which have certain rooms designated for such occasions. Sometimes funeral receptions/repasts are even held at restaurants or the halls of such organizations as the V.F.W., the Elks, the Moose, or others to which a family member may belong. The food that is eaten at a funeral reception can range from a meal specified by the deceased's religion or nationality or it can be catered or even pot luck.