From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

(Lych-wake, death-watch, or vigil). It was the custom for the faithful to observe nightwatches for the departed until the funeral, and make intercession for their souls; but in 1343 this practice was forbidden in England-as it had degenerated into an occasion for assignations, thefts, revels, and buffooneries. In private houses under pain of excommunication, the relations of the dead and those who said psalters alone excepted. In. 1363 these wakes were kept in churches under the close supervision of the parish clergy. The wake still lingers in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. (See Wakes).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [2]

nı̄t´woch בּלּילה אשׁמוּרה , 'ashmūrah ba - laylāh , "watch in the night"): One of the three or four divisions of the night. See Watch; Time .