Vincentians, by their calling, serve Christ in others and in doing this become members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul family.  It is most fitting that, upon the death of a member, other Vincentians come together as family to pray for the deceased sister/brother and her/his family and friends.  In 2013 the Spirituality Committee of Windsor-Essex Central Council formed a Wake Service Team to lead prayers for any deceased member whose family requests this.  The following are things that have been explored, tried and found successful in Windsor-Essex.  Individual conferences and councils are encouraged to investigate and implement a Wake Service Ministry Team.

  • A team of Vincentians sufficient in number to serve the needs of the Society in the area should meet, discuss, pray about and formulate the Wake Ministry. 
  • In Windsor-Essex there are six Vincentians for 28 conferences within the four particular councils.  Most of the team members were experienced in leading wake services within their own parishes.  This team met three times before announcing the formation of the SSVP Wake Ministry of Windsor-Essex.

  • ‘Order of Christian Funerals’ is the format used along with SSVP prayers of petition and scripture readings selected as appropriate for Vincentians.
  • An item of identification is a good idea.  White stoles/scarves with the SSVP logo were made for the Windsor-Essex team.
  • A keepsake for the family is also appropriate.   A candle (available for purchase on the national website) could be presented to the family at the conclusion of the prayer service.
  • The Wake Team member leads the prayers.  Other Vincentians can be included to read, offer petitions  and or speak about the deceased sister/brother Vincentian.  It is best if the reflection can be personalized as much as possible. 
It is important that, once a Wake Team is established, members are aware that they can have a Vincentian wake service.  Presidents should be responsible for making this resource known and for reminding members occasionally.  When a death has occurred the president of the conference or council should be the one who offers a Vincentian wake service to the bereaved family and who contacts the Wake Team.

Wake Services for Deceased Members

Windsor-Essex formed a Wake Service Team a couple of years ago. The following contains information, ideas and samples of wake prayers that we have done.