Funerals, Coronavirus and the Rule of 30
Currently in England, funerals are restricted to 30 guests attending. However, should the family want to hold a wake after the funeral ceremony, the rules say that only 15 can attend. This often has meant sadly that families do not bother to hold a wake.
How difficult must it be for the grieving family to have had 30 and then say to half of them, they simply can’t come in to pay their respects at the wake?
How has one family been able to hold a funeral wake for 30, and create a fitting farewell for someone they loved dearly?
I was recently appointed by a local Funeral Director in Taunton, Somerset to a family grieving the loss of their husband and father. They wanted to have a celebration of life and as they desired to include friends that have been part of all their married lives, some 60 years.
Given they had such memories in the village hall, attending socials together, it felt fitting to be back in that hall amongst all their memories. The funeral ceremony took place in the village hall at the same time as the reception – this meant that 30 family and friends were invited. The funeral procession took place, the Funeral Director and the Pallbearers placed the coffin on a temporary catafalque on the stage, tables were strategically placed to ensure social distancing, and the full funeral service was delivered by myself as Funeral Celebrant.
The service was also live streamed via web cam so that many other family and friends were able to watch, and take part viewing from their own homes.
Personal tributes were included, photos being streamed on a screen, music chosen by the deceased and the family was played; the atmosphere was not only dignified but very intimate and personal. The service was also live streamed via web cam so that many other family and friends were able to watch, and take part viewing from their own homes. Refreshments were pre-prepared and served in individual boxes, to avoid open buffet. The family had thought of everything, including all guests being given a bottle of wine from the grapes grown in one of the son’s vineyard, asking that they have a drink on their father.
There wasn’t a dry eye when the grandchildren came up with me to the catafalque when I said those final words of committal directly to the deceased.
Covid Funeral Wake Rules
After the funeral service and refreshments were finished, we departed with the hearse and travelled to the local crematorium at Taunton for the committal. The immediate family were present only to say their final farewells, again an intimate and personal ceremony was written fitting for their dearest departed loved one. There wasn’t a dry eye when the grandchildren came up with me to the catafalque when I said those final words of committal directly to the deceased. After I had given my bow at the coffin, the Grandchildren by my side at the catafalque said “goodbye Grandad” and gave him a wave goodbye.
What a fitting tribute and farewell to a family member who was thought of so much, and with a little planning, they all had the structure which was right for them.
What is a Funeral Celebrant
Using a Funeral Celebrant means that together we can organise a ceremony fitting how you want it, include what you want, in a style of your choosing. A Celebrant will open up families to a world of possibilities, ensuring those memories are the right memories and not just a formality.
Amanda-Louise Knight Ceremonies. I am affiliated with and trained at The Institute of Professional Celebrants. I conduct funerals for families in Somerset and surrounding counties. I have a wealth of experience and regularly support clients coming to terms with their loss as a trained in bereavement counsellor. For more information about the funeral services I offer contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07879 220 046. Our alternatively ask the Funeral Director personally for Amanda-Louise and pass on my details.