What Is Repass?

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Life is a journey filled with joyous moments and cherished memories, but it is also marked by loss and the passing of loved ones. In the face of grief, communities across different cultures have developed unique ways to honor and remember those who have departed. One such tradition is the repass, a gathering that serves as a celebration of life and a source of solace for the bereaved. In this blog, we will explore the meaning and significance of repass, its cultural variations, and how it provides comfort during difficult times.

What Is Repass?

Repass, also known as a repast or a homegoing meal, is a social gathering held after a funeral or memorial service. It typically takes place at a designated venue such as a church hall, community center, or the home of the deceased or their family. This event provides an opportunity for family, friends, and community members to come together, share a meal, and support one another in their time of loss.

Meaning And Significance:

The repass holds deep significance in many cultures around the world. It symbolizes the idea of nourishing both the body and the soul during a period of mourning. While funerals and memorial services often focus on the somber aspects of death, the repass offers a space for healing, comfort, and the celebration of the life that was lived.

Sharing A Meal:

At the heart of a repass is the act of sharing a meal. Food plays a central role in many cultural traditions, representing hospitality, unity, and a sense of community. The meal served during a repass can vary widely depending on cultural customs and personal preferences. It may range from a simple potluck-style gathering to a catered affair featuring traditional dishes that hold special significance to the family or community.

Support And Comfort:

Beyond the sustenance it provides, the repass serves as a means of emotional support and comfort for the bereaved. It allows those who are grieving to connect with others who have experienced a similar loss, fostering a sense of camaraderie and understanding. During the repass, stories are shared, memories are recounted, and laughter mingles with tears, helping to ease the burden of grief and reminding everyone of the joyous moments shared with the departed.

Cultural Variations:

While the concept of a repass is present in many cultures, there are variations in how it is carried out. In African-American communities, for example, the repast often features soul food dishes such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. In Hispanic cultures, mourners may gather for a “velorio” or wake, where they share traditional foods like tamales, mole, or arroz con leche. Similarly, other cultures have their own unique customs and culinary traditions associated with the repass.


In times of loss, the repass serves as a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit. It brings people together, fostering a sense of unity, support, and healing. Through the act of sharing a meal and recounting cherished memories, the repass provides solace, allowing mourners to find comfort in each other’s presence and celebrate the life of their loved one. It reminds us that even in the face of loss, there is a collective strength that can help us navigate the difficult journey of grief and honor the memory of those who have departed.

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What Is A Repass At A Funeral?

The repast is a time for friends and family to come together after the loss of a loved one, offering condolences with food as comfort

What Is The Difference Between Funeral And Repass?

A repast is any gathering after a funeral service. You might have heard it called a reception, which is what it’s commonly known as today. Repasts are less formal than a funeral service or memorial. They are typically open to everyone who came to the funeral, though they can also be private, depending on the family.

Why Do People Call A Funeral A Repass?

The word “repast” has Latin roots and translates to “to eat.” In the past, the word was used to mean any mealtime, but eventually became solely used for the meal eaten after a funeral. The point of this tradition was to offer those who were closest to the deceased the chance to grieve privately.

Is It Repass Or Repast After A Funeral?

A repast (or repass) is a meal shared by family and friends of the deceased after a funeral service.


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