The funeral was beautiful. Full choir and the church was packed with around 400 plus people.
Wake was kind of a mess with no receiving line and tons of people jammed into a small atrium trying to talk with family members. The funeral also started late because it was difficult for the funeral directors to get everyone pulled together and moving in the same direction, i.e into the sanctuary of the church.
The head priest (there are five of them attached to this particular Catholic church) made an executive decision to have light refreshments after the service. This was coffee, water, lemonade and plate after plate after plate of bars and cookies.
We found out about it when we arrived (we were invited to arrive before the wake started to spend time with my husband's aunt). While she wasn't thrilled, she also wasn't going to argue with a priest who had been so kind, supportive and helpful about the entire process. An announcement was made by the priest that there had been a change in plans and that the internment would be private, family only and take place on the following day and that there would be refreshments served in (don't remember what they called the room) after the service.
And it turned out that my husband's aunt was too tired to try and get everyone together at a restaurant and it was decided that we will all meet sometime in October when some more distant family members can be present. She just told those people she had invited about the change in plans when she spoke with them at the visitation prior to the funeral.
So, everything worked out.
I know that for other areas, regions, religions and cultures, offering food after a funeral is not the norm. It most definitely is in this particular area and my husband's aunt knew she was being rude by not doing so and said so herself.
But I am glad I posted, because I learned a great deal about funeral traditions that I didn't know. Hopefully, this will help me to be more accepting and positive when I go to funerals where the traditions differ from the ones I'm familiar with.
As to the stepchildren...I would guess that at least half if not more of the people who attended were friends or family related to them. They (stepchildren) were supportive of my husband's aunt and things seem to be okay between all of them as best as we could tell from a distance.
I'm sure after all of the years she's been married to their father, they know how self-centered she is and that she is not a malicious self-centered person, just one who lacks any empathy for others. They appear to know how to deal with her.
Edited to add missing words!