Realistically, they all refer to the opportunity for family and friends to view the deceased at the funeral home and offer condolences to the family before the funeral ceremony. Technically, a viewing would only be possible with an open casket present. Historically, a wake referred to a watch kept over the deceased, sometimes lasting the entire night preceding the funeral. Today, the three terms all refer to visitation by friends to the family of the deceased and can occur one or more days before the funeral as well as on the day of the funeral itself.