Funeral services through the Coronavirus pandemic

Caring for the living and the dead through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Can I go to a funeral?

Following Government restrictions, only immediate family members may attend the funeral ceremony. We define “immediate family” members as: parents (or carers), spouses, siblings, children (and their spouses). However if the deceased had few if any immediate relatives, but a close friend who wished to attend the service that would be reasonable – or close grandchildren in the case of a grandparent. Sadly people in high risk categories or who are self-isolating will not be allowed to attend.

How many people can attend?

The Government has stipulated that only “immediate family” may attend funerals. A number of funeral ceremony locations, including Crematoria, have stipulated that a maximum of 10 mourners will be allowed to attend a funeral ceremony. Our funeral director will be able to provide you with full details according to the practices of the ceremony venue that you have selected.

How can other people take part?

There are a number of ways in which people can take part. For immediate family the opportunity to speak, reflect, play music or sing, still remains. Listening to music and readings that reflect the life of the deceased. Many venues are offering streaming services to enable those unable to attend in person, the opportunity to take part virtually.

What if my crematorium has to close?

We continue to monitor the availability of funeral services at all of our partner crematoria. Our funeral director will be able to advise on the available choices during the arrangement.

If I have to cancel will I get a refund?

All funeral arrangements made outside of our funeral homes are subject to a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period. As such if you have to cancel an arrangement, you are entitled to a refund except for those unavoidable costs that we have had to incur in the process of the arrangement up until that point. Our full Terms and Conditions of Service are available for review on our website.

How will it be different from usual?

We will do all we can to ensure that funeral arrangements are able to continue as seamlessly as possible. The most noticeable difference is likely to be the spacing of pews/chairs during the ceremony, and requests to refrain from contact with family/friends who are not resident in your own household. Individual ceremony venues have applied their own measures (such as temporary closure of some buildings). Our funeral director will be able to explain these during the arrangement. Many ceremonies are offering streaming services to enable wider family/friends to join the funeral ceremony virtually. Some funeral ceremony venues have placed shortened timing restrictions in place. Our funeral director will be able to advise on the specific measures in place at the venue you choose.

How to create a virtual wake?

Whilst physical gatherings of people are postponed at the moment, we have created some guidance on how you can hold a virtual funeral reception following a funeral service, giving those unable to attend in person the opportunity to take part. It will also be possible to hold a memorial service, gathering or wake at a later date, further advice on this can be found here.

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