What Is A Vigil

A vigil is a ceremony to remember individuals who have passed away. The word vigil means wakefulness. A vigil is a prayer service which is held (usually) in the evening just before the funeral. As a general rule a vigil is a gathering of the friends and family members of the deceased to remember and pray for the lost soul.

What is a candlelight vigil?

The candlelight vigil as the name suggests is a vigil where people assemble with candles. This is an outdoor event that is mainly held after the sunset. Here, the family members and the friends of the deceased assemble carrying candles in memory of the deceased. This event is also known as candlelight memorial. This memorial event is held by the friends and family for honoring the loved one who is not among them right now. A candlelight vigil can take place in:

  • Local parks
  • Open area in front of the church
  • Someone’s backyard
  • At any indoor auditorium or hall

People often get confused between candlelight vigil and candlelight march. While vigil is a quiet event where the family members and friends of the deceased gather to show respect to the deceased person, the candlelight march is more of a protest. The former one is for peaceful and spiritual reason without any intention of protesting.

What to do at a candlelight vigil?

A candlelight vigil is a peaceful event held in the memory of a deceased person. In this event, people who are either friends or related somehow to the deceased person gather, light up the candles and show their support and respect. If you are wondering what you must do at a candlelight vigil, here are some of the tips for you:

  1. Know about the accurate location where the candlelight vigil is happening
  2. Put on the right clothes for the event and carry a candle or two with you along with the matches or lighter
  3. Decide on a message or prayer that you would like to share or speak in front of the people

What to wear to a vigil?

Now that you know – what is a vigil, it is important to know what you can wear to a vigil. When you are choosing a perfect attire to wear to a vigil, make sure that it is simple and subdued in nature. You must avoid – bold and bright colors, bold prints, or patterns and too much dressy attire.

Women can wear skirts and tops or dresses or even a nice trouser with a top. But make sure that the colors of the clothing are subdued in nature. It is better to choose neutral colors like beige, off-white or white or you can even choose grey or black.

Men can wear a pair of trousers or pants along with a button-down shirt. When it is about the color, it is same as the women. The colors must be subtle or neutral in color. You can also choose any dark subdued color like black, grey, dark blue etc.

While picking up the perfect attire for any candlelight vigil, make sure to keep the prints or patterns of your attire simple and subdued. Avoid clothes that are too short and to revealing. You should also avoid clothes like jeans and t-shirts. It is a formal event where you shouldn’t go too casual.

Talking about the outfit that you need to wear to a candlelight vigil, one of the most important parts is shoes. Yes, you must wear the right pair of shoes too in a vigil. Men should wear proper formal shoes to a vigil. Make sure to avoid the athletic shoes or the casual ones like flip flops or slippers. Those are not appropriate to be worn in a vigil.

The women should also wear a pair of shoes that are formal in nature. It is better to wear a pump or any shoes where the toes are not exposed. It is better to avoid wearing shoes that have extremely high heels or the shoes with open toes. You can wear shoes with a heel about an inch or two in height. The women must also avoid athletic shoes, sandals, and flip flops to a candlelight vigil.

What to bring to a vigil?

The vigil, as mentioned above, is held for honoring the memory of a deceased person. Most of the vigils held with candles. Hence, the first and foremost thing that you have to bring to a candlelight vigil, is a candle. White candles are the best choice for the vigil. Make sure the candle is thick and big in size as it must last for an hour or so till the event is going on.

Along with that, you have to bring a light or a matchstick with you to light up the candle. Of course, the air and the wind can put off the fire easily. You cannot keep on asking everyone for a lighter or a matchstick all the time. The vigils are meant to be quiet as you pray in the memory of the loss. You can also bring a drip protector to save your hand from the hot melted wax.

This is all about – what is a vigil and what you can wear to a vigil or what you have to bring there. Make sure that you keep all these important points in your mind. It is extremely important to wear the right clothes to a vigil. Wearing something inappropriate can be considered as disrespectful. Also, carrying the essential items to a vigil can be convenient for you.

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Readinform is a Wisconsin based writer for funerals explained. They have come to understand the struggles of death and loss. Through life experience they have gathered the knowledge to help others and answer questions related to the funeral industry. When not writing readyinform focuses on learning new things and exploring the differences society offers.

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