Funerals during lockdown: what you need to know
PUBLISHED: 13:57 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:57 14 April 2020
With everyone on lockdown, now is a particularly challenging time to suffer the loss of a loved one.
To help, we spoke to Luke Reynold from The Elms, Weston’s oldest independent funeral directors, to answer any questions you may have about planning a funeral during lockdown.
Q: Are funeral services still being held?
Yes, both burials and cremations are still taking place, but due to social distancing and lockdown there are some changes to services and we’re adapting the way we work to continue to be here for you and your family when you need us most.
Q: How many people can attend a funeral?
The number of people able to attend your loved one’s funeral is lower than normal.
The government have recommended only immediate family should attend the service and no more than 10 people should be present, to maintain social distancing.
We recommend that members of your family that are high-risk, especially those that have received a letter telling them to stay inside, stay home.
Even if they can’t be there, family and friends can still contribute to the service. You can live stream the service for them to watch as it happens or a few days after.
They can help choose music, readings or photos for you to show during the ceremony. They can record a tribute or share memories that can be read by other family members or the minister or celebrant that’s leading the funeral.
We’re currently improvising alternatives to help you during this difficult time and to help those who can’t attend in person. We can work with you to help you deliver the service you want.
Q: Will we be able to carry in the coffin or take part in the service?
There are some aspects of a funeral, that unfortunately for safety reasons, you won’t be able to do but you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to personalise the service and make sure it’s the goodbye you want for your loved one.
Family members can’t carry the coffin in, but you will be able to go with your loved one into the chapel and walk alongside them.
Instead of congregating outside, you’ll be shown into the chapel and seated. The length of the ceremonies hasn’t changed - you’ll have time to share your stories and memories and any contributions other family members may have sent.
At the end of the service, you’ll be able to spend some moments with your loved one, to say your goodbyes, though we won’t be able to offer an open casket ceremony.
This is a sensitive time and we realise while this may not be what you’d hoped for, we’ll do everything we can to make sure you can still have a special day and help put the arrangements in place to ensure it runs smoothly.
Q: Can I still make funeral arrangements even though we’re in lockdown?
We can advise you what next steps you need to take, what documents you need and what you’ll need to consider for family members that may not be able to come to the ceremony.
We can talk on the phone and send any information you need by email or through the post.
Families can rest assured that if a loved one passes - we’ll still come to the house and bring them into our care. We have all the protective equipment we need to enter your home safely.
We know this is a unique time, with many things changing and seeming uncertain, but this doesn’t need to compromise your time to say goodbye. We’re here and on hand to help your family in whatever way we can.
The Elms Funeral Directors is an independent, family-run funeral directors that’s operated in Weston-Super-Mare since 1993. They have the professional knowledge, experience and caring nature to help you plan a funeral.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.