As late as 1961 the Manual of Catholic Prayer states on page 202
"The body is then laid out in seemly fashion, and a light placed before it.
A small cross is placed upon the breast in the hands of the deceased, or the
hands are folded crosswise, and the body is sprinkled from time to time
with holy water. Until the burial takes place prayer should constantly be
offered for the deceased by those who watch the body."
A wake is when the body is watched.
Today funeral homes no longer put out holy water next to the casket except when
the priest is there or unless the family requests it. Sad
In the book, The Grace of Final Perseverance, it states that the soul can
remain in the body "until the first signs of decay appear or the body has
been embalmed" (about 3 days)
This is probably why a child can be Baptised several hours after death and
an adult also can be anointed.
Contrary to popular belief, the body is not kept above ground for 3 days to make
sure the person is really dead.