A funeral is a ceremony connected with the burial, cremation, or interment of a corpse, or the burial with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment, to various monuments and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs vary between religious groups. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, offering support and sympathy to the bereaved; the funeral includes a ritual through which the corpse receives a final dispositon. Depending on culture and religion, these can involve either the destruction of the body or its preservation. Differing beliefs about cleanliness and the relationship between body and soul are reflected in funerary practices. A memorial service or celebration of life is a funerary ceremony, performed without the remains of the deceased person; the word funeral comes from the Latin funus, which had a variety of meanings, including the corpse and the funerary rites themselves.
Funerary art is art produced in connection with burials, including many kinds of tombs, objects specially made for burial like flowers with a corpse. Funeral rites are as old as human culture itself, pre-dating modern Homo sapiens and dated to at least 300,000 years ago. For example, in the Shanidar Cave in Iraq, in Pontnewydd Cave in Wales and at other sites across Europe and the Near East, archaeologists have discovered Neanderthal skeletons with a characteristic layer of flower pollen; this deliberate burial and reverence given to the dead has been interpreted as suggesting that Neanderthals had religious beliefs, although the evidence is not unequivocal – while the dead were buried deliberately, burrowing rodents could have introduced the flowers. Substantial cross-cultural and historical research document funeral customs as a predictable, stable force in communities. Funeral customs tend to be characterized by five "anchors": significant symbols, gathered community, ritual action, cultural heritage, transition of the dead body.
Funerals in the Bahá'í Faith are characterized by not embalming, a prohibition against cremation, using a chrysolite or hardwood casket, wrapping the body in silk or cotton, burial not farther than an hour from the place of death, placing a ring on the deceased's finger stating, "I came forth from God, return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate." The Bahá'í funeral service contains the only prayer that's permitted to be read as a group - congregational prayer, although most of the prayer is read by one person in the gathering. The Bahá'í decedent controls some aspects of the Bahá'í funeral service, since leaving a will and testament is a requirement for Bahá'ís. Since there is no Bahá'í clergy, services are conducted under the guise, or with the assistance of, a Local Spiritual Assembly. A Buddhist funeral marks the transition from one life to the next for the deceased, it reminds the living of their own mortality. Christian burials occur on consecrated ground.
Burial, rather than a destructive process such as cremation, was the traditional practice amongst Christians, because of the belief in the resurrection of the body. Cremations came into widespread use, although some denominations forbid them; the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said "The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed. Congregations of varied denominations perform different ceremonies, but most involve offering prayers, scripture reading from the Bible, a sermon, homily, or eulogy, music. One issue of concern as the 21st century began was with the use of secular music at Christian funerals, a custom forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church. Antyesti "last rites or last sacrifice", refers to the rite-of-passage rituals associated with a funeral in Hinduism, it is sometimes referred to as Antya-kriya, Anvarohanyya, or Vahni Sanskara. A dead adult Hindu is cremated, while a dead child is buried; the rite of passage is said to be performed in harmony with the sacred premise that the microcosm of all living beings is a reflection of a macrocosm of the universe.
The soul is believed to be the immortal essence, released at the Antyeshti ritual, but both the body and the universe are vehicles and transitory in various schools of Hinduism. They consist of five elements: air, fire and space; the last rite of passage returns the body to the five origins. The roots of this belief are found in the Vedas, for example in the hymns of Rigveda in section 10.16, as follows, The final rites of a burial, in case of untimely death of a child, is rooted in Rig Veda's section 10.18, where the hymns mourn the death of the child, praying to deity Mrityu to "neither harm our girls nor our boys", pleads the earth to cover, protect the deceased child as a soft wool. Among Hindus, the dead body is cremated within a day of death; the body is washed, wrapped in white cloth for a man or a widow, red for a married woman, the two toes tied together with a string, a Tilak placed on the forehead. The dead adult's body is carried to the cremation ground near a river or water, by family and friends, placed on a pyr
A song is a single work of music, intended to be sung by the human voice with distinct and fixed pitches and patterns using sound and silence and a variety of forms that include the repetition of sections. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word "song" may refer to instrumentals. Written words created for music or for which music is created, are called lyrics. If a pre-existing poem is set to composed music in classical music it is an art song. Songs that are sung on repeated pitches without distinct contours and patterns that rise and fall are called chants. Songs in a simple style that are learned informally are referred to as folk songs. Songs that are composed for professional singers who sell their recordings or live shows to the mass market are called popular songs; these songs, which have broad appeal, are composed by professional songwriters and lyricists. Art songs are composed by trained classical composers for recital performances. Songs are recorded on audio or video.
Songs may appear in plays, musical theatre, stage shows of any form, within operas. A song may be for a solo singer, a lead singer supported by background singers, a duet, trio, or larger ensemble involving more voices singing in harmony, although the term is not used for large classical music vocal forms including opera and oratorio, which use terms such as aria and recitative instead. Songs with more than one voice to a part singing in polyphony or harmony are considered choral works. Songs can be broadly divided depending on the criteria used. Art songs are songs created for performance by classical artists with piano or violin/viola accompaniment, although they can be sung solo. Art songs require strong vocal technique, understanding of language and poetry for interpretation. Though such singers may perform popular or folk songs on their programs, these characteristics and the use of poetry are what distinguish art songs from popular songs. Art songs are a tradition from most European countries, now other countries with classical music traditions.
German-speaking communities use the term art song to distinguish so-called "serious" compositions from folk song. The lyrics are written by a poet or lyricist and the music separately by a composer. Art songs may be more formally complicated than popular or folk songs, though many early Lieder by the likes of Franz Schubert are in simple strophic form; the accompaniment of European art songs is considered as an important part of the composition. Some art songs are so revered. Art songs emerge from the tradition of singing romantic love songs to an ideal or imaginary person and from religious songs; the troubadours and bards of Europe began the documented tradition of romantic songs, continued by the Elizabethan lutenists. Some of the earliest art songs are found in the music of Henry Purcell; the tradition of the romance, a love song with a flowing accompaniment in triple meter, entered opera in the 19th century, spread from there throughout Europe. It became one of the underpinnings of popular songs.
While a romance has a simple accompaniment, art songs tend to have complicated, sophisticated accompaniments that underpin, illustrate or provide contrast to the voice. Sometimes the accompaniment performer has the melody. Folk songs are songs of anonymous origin that are transmitted orally, they are a major aspect of national or cultural identity. Art songs approach the status of folk songs when people forget who the author was. Folk songs are frequently transmitted non-orally in the modern era. Folk songs exist in every culture. Popular songs may become folk songs by the same process of detachment from its source. Folk songs are more-or-less in the public domain by definition, though there are many folk song entertainers who publish and record copyrighted original material; this tradition led to the singer-songwriter style of performing, where an artist has written confessional poetry or personal statements and sings them set to music, most with guitar accompaniment. There are many genres of popular songs, including torch songs, novelty songs, rock and soul songs, other commercial genres, such as rapping.
Folk songs include ballads, plaints, love songs, mourning songs, dance songs, work songs, ritual songs and many more. Air Animal song: bird vocalization, whale song, zoomusicology Aria Canticle Hymn Instrumental Lists of songs Madrigal Poem and song Song structure Theme song Vocal music Marcello Sorce Keller, "The Problem of Classification in Folksong Research: a Short History", Folklore, XCV, no. 1, 100- 104. Jean Nicolas De Surmont, From vocal poetry to song, toward a Theory of Song Obects" with a foreword by Geoff Stahl, Ibidem
The "Lyke-Wake Dirge" is a traditional English folk song that tells of the soul's travel, the hazards it faces, on its way from earth to purgatory. Though the song is from the Christian era and features references to Christianity, much of the symbolism is thought to be of pre-Christian origin; the title refers to the act of watching over the dead between the death and funeral, known as a wake. "Lyke" is an obsolete word meaning a corpse, is related to the German word Leiche and the Dutch word lijk, which have the same meaning. It survives in modern English in the expression lychgate, the roofed gate at the entrance to a churchyard, where, in former times, a dead body was placed before burial, the fictional undead monster type lich. "Lyke-wake" could be from the Norse influence on the Yorkshire dialect: the contemporary Norwegian and Swedish words for "wake" are still "likvake" and "likvaka" respectively. The song is written in an old form of the Yorkshire dialect of Northern English, it goes: THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,—Refrain: Every nighte and alle,Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,—Refrain: And Christe receive thy saule.
When thou from hence away art pastTo Whinny-muir thou com'st at lastIf thou gavest hosen and shoon,Sit thee down and put them on. From Whinny-muir when thou may'st pass,To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last. Note: ae: one; the poem was first collected by John Aubrey in 1686, who recorded that it was being sung in 1616, but it is believed to be much older. There would appear to be a lacuna in the version. Unlike the preceding and following pairs of stanzas, nothing happens at the Brig o' Dread. Richard Blakeborough, in his Wit, Character and Customs of the North Riding, fills this apparent gap with verses he says were in use in 1800, which seem to be authentic: If ivver thoo gav o' thy siller an' gowd,At t' Brig o' Dreead thoo'll finnd foothod,Bud if siller an' gowd thoo nivver gav nean,Thoo'll doan, doon tum'le towards Hell fleames,Note: siller: silver; this ballad was one of 25 traditional works included in Ballads Weird and Wonderful and illustrated by Vernon Hill. The Whinny-muir of this tale appears in The Well of the World's End as the "Muir o' Heckle-pins".
Some versions of the words include sleet rather than fire and fleet. F. W. Moorman, in his book on Yorkshire dialect poetry, explains that fleet means floor and references the OED, he notes that the expression Aboute the fyre upon flet appears in the mediaeval story Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and explains that "Fire and fleet and candle-light are a summary of the comforts of the house, which the dead person still enjoys for this ae night, goes out into the dark and cold." The poem has been recorded a number of times as a song. Arnold Bax set it for voice and piano in 1908 and made an orchestral version in 1934. Benjamin Britten set it to music as a part of his Serenade for Tenor and Strings in 1943, and, in his Cantata on Old English Texts of 1952, Igor Stravinsky uses individual verses as interludes between the longer movements. English composer Geoffrey Burgon wrote a duet for two countertenors with words altered to fit the canonical single melody, the second countertenor starting one bar behind the first.
At the end of each versicle the line rises by a semitone producing an eerie and climactic ending on top D before dropping back down to the starting tone. A version with a different tune was collected by the folk song collector, Hans Fried, from the singing of "an old Scottish lady", Peggy Richards; the Young Tradition used this version for their a cappella recording on their 1965 debut album, using quite a primitive harmonisation, in which two of the vocal parts move in parallel fifths. The folk band Pentangle performed a version on their 1969 album Basket of Light, using the same tune as The Young Tradition, but elaborating the arrangement. Buffy Sainte-Marie included this song on her 1967 album Fire & Fleet & Candlelight. Most renditions of the song use the Richards-Fried melody; the annual Spiral Dance in San Francisco has adapted the song to a neopagan context, changing the refrain to "May earth receive thy soul". This version can be found on Let It Begin Now: Music from the Spiral Dance.
Maddy Prior, writing in the liner notes to the Steeleye Span retrospective Spanning the Years, drily characterises the song's countercultural appeal, in describing one 1970s performance: 5 nights at the LA Forum with Jethro Tull. We were opening our set at the time with the Lyke Wake Dirge, a grim piece of music from Yorkshire concerning pe
An antiphon is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms, their form was favored by St Ambrose and they feature prominently in Ambrosian chant, but they are used in Gregorian chant as well. They may be used for the Introit, the Offertory or the Communion, they may be used in the Liturgy of the Hours for Lauds or Vespers. They should not be confused with processional antiphons; when a chant consists of alternating verses and responds, a refrain is needed. The looser term antiphony is used for any call and response style of singing, such as the kirtan or the sea shanty and other work songs, songs and worship in African and African-American culture. Antiphonal music is that performed by two choirs in interaction singing alternate musical phrases. Antiphonal psalmody is the singing or musical playing of psalms by alternating groups of performers; the term “antiphony” can refer to a choir-book containing antiphons. The'mirror' structure of Hebrew psalms renders it probable that the antiphonal method was present in the services of the ancient Israelites.
According to historian Socrates of Constantinople, antiphony was introduced into Christian worship by Ignatius of Antioch, who saw a vision of two choirs of angels. Antiphons have remained an integral part of the worship in the Armenian Rite; the practice did not become part of the Latin Church until more than two centuries later. Ambrose and Gregory the Great, who are known for their contributions to the formulation of Gregorian chant, are credited with'antiphonaries', collections of works suitable for antiphon, which are still used in the Roman Catholic Church today. Polyphonic Marian antiphons emerged in England in the 14th century as settings of texts honouring the Virgin Mary, which were sung separately from the mass and office after Compline. Towards the end of the 15th century, English composers produced expanded settings up to nine parts, with increasing complexity and vocal range; the largest collection of such antiphons is the late-15th-century Eton Choirbook. As a result, antiphony remains common in the Anglican musical tradition: the singers face each other, placed in the quire's Decani and Cantoris.
The Greater Advent or O Antiphons are antiphons used at daily prayer in the evenings of the last days of Advent in various liturgical Christian traditions. Each antiphon is a name of one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. In the Roman Catholic tradition, they are sung or recited at Vespers from December 17 to December 23. In the Church of England they have traditionally been used as antiphons to the Magnificat at Evening Prayer. More they have found a place in primary liturgical documents throughout the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England's Common Worship liturgy. Use of the O Antiphons was preserved in Lutheranism at the German Reformation, they continue to be sung in Lutheran churches; when two or more groups of singers sing in alternation, the style of music can be called polychoral. This term is applied to music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. Polychoral techniques are a definitive characteristic of the music of the Venetian school, exemplified by the works of Giovanni Gabrieli: this music is known as the Venetian polychoral style.
The Venetian polychoral style was an important innovation of the late Renaissance. This style, with its variations as it spread across Europe after 1600, helped to define the beginning of the Baroque era. Polychoral music was not limited to Italy in the Renaissance. There are examples from the 19th and 20th centuries, from composers as diverse as Hector Berlioz, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Karlheinz Stockhausen. Marian antiphon Polyphony Polyphonic form Polyphonic singing Polychoral compositions Latin church music by George Frideric Handel — includes three antiphons. Antiphon "O Sapientia quae ex ore Altissimi..." Antiphon O Adonai II Great Advent Antiphon File:Schola Gregoriana-Antiphona et Magnificat.ogg
Etymology is the study of the history of words. By extension, the term "the etymology" means the origin of the particular word and for place names, there is a specific term, toponymy. For Greek—with a long written history—etymologists make use of texts, texts about the language, to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods and when they entered the language. Etymologists apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information to be available. By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found that can be traced all the way back to the origin of, for instance, the Indo-European language family. Though etymological research grew from the philological tradition, much current etymological research is done on language families where little or no early documentation is available, such as Uralic and Austronesian.
The word etymology derives from the Greek word ἐτυμολογία, itself from ἔτυμον, meaning "true sense", the suffix -logia, denoting "the study of". In linguistics, the term etymon refers to a word or morpheme from which a word derives. For example, the Latin word candidus, which means "white", is the etymon of English candid. Etymologists apply a number of methods to study the origins of words, some of which are: Philological research. Changes in the form and meaning of the word can be traced with the aid of older texts, if such are available. Making use of dialectological data; the form or meaning of the word might show variations between dialects, which may yield clues about its earlier history. The comparative method. By a systematic comparison of related languages, etymologists may be able to detect which words derive from their common ancestor language and which were instead borrowed from another language; the study of semantic change. Etymologists must make hypotheses about changes in the meaning of particular words.
Such hypotheses are tested against the general knowledge of semantic shifts. For example, the assumption of a particular change of meaning may be substantiated by showing that the same type of change has occurred in other languages as well. Etymological theory recognizes that words originate through a limited number of basic mechanisms, the most important of which are language change, borrowing. While the origin of newly emerged words is more or less transparent, it tends to become obscured through time due to sound change or semantic change. Due to sound change, it is not obvious that the English word set is related to the word sit, it is less obvious that bless is related to blood. Semantic change may occur. For example, the English word bead meant "prayer", it acquired its modern meaning through the practice of counting the recitation of prayers by using beads. English derives from Old English, a West Germanic variety, although its current vocabulary includes words from many languages; the Old English roots may be seen in the similarity of numbers in English and German seven/sieben, eight/acht, nine/neun, ten/zehn.
Pronouns are cognate: I/mine/me and ich/mein/mich. However, language change has eroded many grammatical elements, such as the noun case system, simplified in modern English, certain elements of vocabulary, some of which are borrowed from French. Although many of the words in the English lexicon come from Romance languages, most of the common words used in English are of Germanic origin; when the Normans conquered England in 1066, they brought their Norman language with them. During the Anglo-Norman period, which united insular and continental territories, the ruling class spoke Anglo-Norman, while the peasants spoke the vernacular English of the time. Anglo-Norman was the conduit for the introduction of French into England, aided by the circulation of Langue d'oïl literature from France; this led to many paired words of English origin. For example, beef is related, through borrowing, to modern French bœuf, veal to veau, pork to porc, poultry to poulet. All these words and English, refer to the meat rather than to the animal.
Words that refer to farm animals, on the other hand, tend to be cognates of words in other Germanic languages. For example, swine/Schwein, cow/Kuh, calf/Kalb, sheep/Schaf; the variant usage has been explained by the proposition that it was the Norman rulers who ate meat and the Anglo-Saxons who farmed the animals. This explanation has been disputed. English has proved accommodating to words from many languages. Scientific terminology, for example, relies on words of Latin and Greek origin, but there are a great many non-scientific examples. Spanish has contributed many words in the southwestern United States. Examples include buckaroo, rodeo and states' names such as Colorado and Florida. Albino, lingo and coconut from Portuguese. Modern French has contributed café, naive and many more. Smorgasbord, slalom
Office of the Dead
The Office of the Dead or Office for the Dead is a prayer cycle of the Canonical Hours in the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Lutheran Church, said for the repose of the soul of a decedent. It is the proper reading on All Souls' Day for all souls in Purgatory, can be a votive office on other days when said for a particular decedent; the work is composed of different psalms, scripture and other parts, divided into The Office of Readings, Daytime Prayer, Vespers. The current office, according to the 2000 Liturgia Horarum editio typica altera includes the normal cycle of a typical ferial office, namely an Office of Readings, Daytime Prayer, Vespers; the final hour of Compline is taken from Sunday. The Office of Readings includes Psalms 40: 2-14, 17-18; these psalms are followed by two longer lessons which are variable and come from one of multiple options. Lauds includes Psalm 51, the Canticle of Ezechias, Psalm 146 or 150; these are followed by a responsory, the Benedictus and the preces. Daytime Prayer consists of Psalms 70, 85, 86.
These are followed by a short lesson and a versicle which vary depending on which of the little hours are being used for Daytime Prayer. Vespers includes Psalms 121, 130, a canticle from Phil 2:6-11; this is followed by a short lesson, a responsory, the Magnificat, the preces. The hour of Compline is taken from Sunday after Second Vespers; this office, as it exists in the Roman Liturgy up to and including the current 1960 Roman Breviary, is composed of First Vespers, Mass and Lauds. The editor is not known, but the office as it existed before the alternative was no older than from 7th or 8th century. A well known refrain from the cycle is Timor mortis conturbat me, "The fear of death confounds me" or, more colloquially, "I am scared to death of dying"; the word dirge comes from it. The Vespers of the older form of the office comprise Psalms 114.1–9, 119, 120, 129, 137, with the Magnificat and the preces. The Matins, composed like those of feast days, have three nocturns, each consisting of three psalms and three lessons.
Pope Pius X's reform of the Breviary removed Psalms 66, 149, 150 from being said at Lauds every day, this reform included the Office of the Dead. The office differs in important points from the other offices of the Roman Liturgy, it has the Second Vespers, or the Compline. In this respect it resembles the ancient vigils, which began at eventide, continued during the night, ended at the dawn; the absence of the introduction, "Deus in adjutorium", of the hymns, blessings, of the doxology in the psalms recall ancient times, when these additions had not yet been made. The psalms are chosen not in their serial order, as in the Sunday Office or the Roman ferial Office, but because certain verses, which serve as antiphons, seem to allude to the state of the dead; the use of some of these psalms in the funeral service is of high antiquity, as appears from passages in St. Augustine and other writers of the fourth and fifth centuries; the lessons from Job, so suitable for the Office of the Dead, were read in early days at funeral services.
The responses, deserve notice the response "Libera me, Domine, de viis inferni qui portas æreas confregisti et visitasti inferum et dedisti eis lumen... qui erant in poenis... advenisti redemptor noster" etc. This is one of the few texts in the Roman Liturgy alluding to Christ's descent into hell, it is a ancient composition. The "Libera me de morte æterna", found more complete in the ancient manuscripts, dates from an early period. Mgr Batiffol remarks that it is not of Roman origin, but it is ancient; the distinctive character of the Mass, its various epistles, its tract, its offertory in the form of a prayer, the communion with versicles, according to the ancient custom, the sequence "Dies Iræ", it is impossible to dwell upon here. The omission of the Alleluia, the kiss of peace is characteristic of this mass. There was a time, it was looked upon as a song of joy, was omitted on days of penance, sometimes in Advent, at all funeral ceremonies. It is replaced to-day by a tract. A treatise of the 8th-9th century published by Muratori shows that the Alleluia was suppressed.
The omission of the kiss of peace at the Mass is because that ceremony preceded the distribution of the Eucharist to the faithful and was a preparation for it, so, as communion is not given at the Mass for the Dead, the kiss of peace was suppressed. Not to speak of the variety of ceremonies of the Mozarabic, Ambrosian, or Oriental liturgies in co
Lyke Wake Walk
The Lyke Wake Walk is a 40-mile challenge walk across the highest and widest part of the North York Moors National Park in north-east Yorkshire, England. Its associated club has its own social structure and rituals based on the walk and Christian and folklore traditions from the area of North Yorkshire through which it passes; the idea of a walk originated from an article in the Dalesman magazine in August 1955. Its author, Bill Cowley, pointed out that it was possible to walk 40 miles across the North York Moors from east to west on heather all the way except for crossing one or two roads. Moreover, given the remoteness of the area, a lone walker might not encounter another during the one to two days a journey might take. In the article Cowley issued a challenge to see if anyone could walk from Scarth Wood Moor at the western extremity of the moors to Ravenscar on the coast, keeping on or close to the main watershed of the moorland, in a twenty-four-hour period; the first crossing was completed shortly afterwards on 1 and 2 October 1955.
Cowley was in the party that made the crossing in 23 hours and he wrote a book, Lyke Wake Walk, which he kept up to date by frequent revision. The book sold many thousands of copies, it was revised in 2001 by Paul Sherwood. Cowley's idea for the walk developed over the years before he issued the challenge in 1955, he wrote a poem in 1935/6, Storming Along, describing traversing the moors and mentions a number of the walk's landmarks. His early contributions to the Dalesman, appear in retrospect, to hint at the idea of the walk drawing on his appreciation of the works of Frank Elgee, Canon John Christopher Atkinson and Alfred Brown; the walk is done from west to east although it can be done in either direction. A successful crossing must be completed within 24 hours. There is no exact route but the Lyke Wake Club and its successor have rules regarding what can be considered a successful crossing. For record purposes the walk starts at its original departure point, the Ordnance Survey Trig point on Scarth Wood Moor, near Osmotherley, finishes in the bar of the Raven Hall Hotel in Ravenscar.
For practical purposes the acceptable end points are the Lyke Wake Stone adjacent to Sheep Wash car park at Osmotherley Reservoir at the western end and Beacon Howes car park where there is a second Lyke Wake Stone at the eastern end. Successful crossings must stick to the moorland summits as far as is practicable and walkers straying into Eskdale are disqualified; the route has to cross the Stokesley-Helmsley road between Point 842 and Point 503, the Whitby-Pickering road between Point 945 and Point 701 and the Scarborough-Whitby road between Point 538 and Point 579. Point numbers are the height in feet above sea level as given on the one inch Ordnance Survey Tourist Map of the North York Moors; the original route began at Scarth Wood Moor trig point, followed the Alum/Jet Miners Track from Live Moor to Hasty Bank to Smuggler's Trod, Ironstone Railway, White Cross, Shunner Howe, Blue Man-i'-th'-Moss, Wheeldale Stepping Stones, Fen House, Tom Cross Rigg, Snod Hill, Lilla Howe, Jugger Howe ravine, Pye Howe Rigg, to Ravenscar.
This route is no longer possible as a section is now within the Ministry of Defence controlled area at RAF Fylingdales Early Warning Radar Station. Most crossings now follow a variation of the original, it begins at Scarth Wood Moor trig point or the western Lyke Wake Stone in Sheepwash car park, follows the summit track from Live Moor over Carlton Moor, Cringle Moor, Cold Moor and Hasty Bank, Smuggler's Trod, Ironstone Railway, Esklets or South Flat Howe or Lion Inn, White Cross, Shunner Howe, Blue Man-i'-th'-Moss, Wheeldale Stepping Stones, Fen Bogs, Eller Beck, Lilla Howe, Jugger Howe ravine, Stony Marl Moor, to the eastern Lyke Wake Stone at Beacon Howes or Ravenscar. A summary description of the classic route with photographs is described by Richard Gilbert in his book, The Big Walks and a guidebook is available. A detailed illustrated description of the western half of the walk is given in Alfred Wainwright's A Coast to Coast Walk. Most crossings are done west to east; the original challenge, crossing towards the sea in an easterly direction is thought to be easier because the prevailing wind comes from the west making it easier to walk with the wind on one's back and with the heather lying away from the walker.
On a west to east crossing, the major ascents and descents occur in the first ten miles when the walker is fresh. A traverse of the Lyke Wake Walk route is referred to as a'crossing' and the act of participating in the walk is known as'dirging'. In its first few years the walk followed a difficult route requiring endeavour and physical endurance as there was no worn track over most of its length. From the mid-1970s the walk had to be re-thought because the numbers of people attempting it had, in places, eroded the ground surface, there was disturbance to game birds and wildlife by walkers and their support parties at all times of day and night in Osmotherley, Ravenscar and at remote farms. Footpath erosion was compounded by the walk sharing long stretches of its route with the Cleveland Way and Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk. Other users, some legal, some illegal, including mountain bikes, motor cycles, qua