A viewing is a gathering of friends and family where visitors pay their respects to the deceased. A viewing, compared to a funeral, is generally a more informal event. It allows mourners the opportunity to share their grief, support one another, and say goodbye on a personal level. Viewings take place at the funeral home typically the day before and sometimes the same day. The body of the deceased may likely be displayed to allow mourners the opportunity to pay their respects. Guests come and go as they see fit, some staying for hours while others drop by for just a few moments.
A viewing, compared to a funeral, is generally a more informal event.