My coworkers (who graciously spent the day schooling me in Catholic Wake 101) and friends were surprised that I'd never seen a body before. Yesterday's wake seemed like a nice tradition, minus the open casket (I had visions of it dancing before my eyes as I fell asleep).
Jews don't do the open casket thing. Usually, at a Jewish funeral, that casket is rarely glimpsed, save for the actual burial. In fact, the wake reminded me of the Jewish tradition of sitting shiva, only with a body in the room. And minus the food.
My two previous non-Jewish funeral experiences were for my step-grandmother (Catholic- I was a kid, my dad banished me to a room with coloring books during the most of the wake) and my ex-boyfriend's grandfather (Unitarian- the minister did a great job, considering she'd never met the decedent), who died during my spring break, senior year of college.