"What is the parlor...?"
The parlor was (is) a room in a house that was used for formal entertaining and social events. It was often the most elaborately furnished room in the house and was used for things like hosting dinner parties, receiving guests, and holding family gatherings. The parlor was typically located near the front of the house and was the room that visitors would see when they first entered. In addition to these social uses, the parlor was also often used for funerary purposes. It was common for a person who had died to be laid out in their home, and the parlor was often the room where the body would be placed for a wake or visitation. Funeral services and other ceremonies such as wakes and viewings were also often held in the parlor of the family's home. This practice has become less common in recent times, as it is now more common for funeral services to be held in funeral homes or churches.