Funerals during covid-19

Coronavirus

Funeral advice

We would like to share some frequently asked questions relating to funeral services during these unprecedented times. Please do not hesitate to contact any of our funeral homes if you have any questions or if you require help.

We have carried out comprehensive risk assessments across all our branches and are a Covid secure business. At present we are keeping our funeral homes open, but we respectfully ask that if you have to attend that you call us in advance.

It is still important that people attending a funeral should not be in any of the high-risk categories and not self-isolating. Please also remember to stay mindful of social distancing and household mixing rules. We understand this is an emotional time.

Much of the following weighs heavily on our hearts as we are used to working with families to create unique funeral services to reflect the life of the deceased and we understand that these restrictions are incredibly difficult for the families that we serve.

Arranging a funeral

Where possible we are encouraging people to arrange a funeral via email, Zoom, Skype or over the telephone. This allows us to still be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to be part of the discussions and decision making, whilst upholding the safety of our families and our staff. We can email or post any documentation or literature to you.

The time between death and the funeral will vary according to a family’s needs, available times at the venue, minister, or celebrant as well as other considerations. The process for registering a death changed under the Coronavirus Act, and now we can assist and submit documentation digitally. This makes the process quicker and easier.

The time between the death and a funeral will also be dependent on the cause of death and whether the death is referred to the coroner. Coroner’s procedures remain in place for sudden or unexpected deaths and where something other than COVID-19 is the cause of death.

Families are still able to visit their loved ones in our chapels of rest, however, we have strict procedures in place to ensure everyone’s safety. This includes the wearing of masks, only two people being permitted at one time and the checking of temperatures remotely among other precautions. This will be fully explained to you before your visit.

In line with Public Health England guidance, families are urged not to seek to delay the funeral. It is not clear when it will be possible to lift the restrictions and some aspects of them may remain in force for many months. It is also possible that restrictions may be tightened further.

The funeral

It currently remains permissible to leave home to attend a funeral to which you have been invited to, subject to attendance limits. You can book overnight accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event. This should not be in another household unless they are part of your support bubble.

In England the maximum number of mourners at a funeral is limited to 30, however every crematorium is responding individually to Government guidelines and have their own covid secure limits. This limit depends on the ability to adhere to social distancing. We will inform you of the rules at the point of arrangement and will always update you if these change.

If you are to have a burial for your loved one, churches are open to have services in. The maximum number of mourners is also 30, however, each church is responding individually and also have their own individual covid secure limits largely based on the size and seating availability. You can also still have a graveside service, with a music player and service sheets.

Face coverings are required during all indoor funeral services (including places of worship, burial ground chapels and crematoria) in England.

Public Health England guidance says: “Singing should be limited to a small, set group of no more than 6 people, staying at least 2 metres apart, and should not include audience participation.” The NAFD recommend considering using instrumental music or choral recordings as an alternative to live singing.

If you or a family member are not able to attend the funeral service, we offer the use of webcasting/live streaming (using professional or personal devices). This allows all mourners to ‘virtually attend’. There may also be the possibility of a recording of the service. Please talk to your funeral arranger about this.

We can still offer limousines to our families. We have installed protective screens and have strict procedures in place to ensure the safety of our families and our staff. We will advise you of these at the time of arrangement.

Whilst it is still possible to place death notices in newspapers and online, we are strongly recommending that the funeral day and time are omitted. This is to prevent people with the best intentions trying to attend the service. Being turned away could be extremely upsetting for them.

Despite flowers being harder to source, local florists have worked hard throughout the lockdowns to enable families to continue to have floral tributes. Many are now opening their shops so that families can visit, however, we highly recommend that you ring beforehand to ensure they can see you.

Yes, although we are advising that all charitable donations should be made online where possible. We can set up a MuchLoved tribute page which can be used as a digital memory box and to collect online donations. Anyone can visit this page and share memories, photos, stories and support.

After the service

Scattering of ashes is still permitted, however there are certain restrictions regarding where you can scatter as well as the number of people permitted to attend.

In some cases the total funeral cost may be lower, as some things normally associated with funerals may not currently be available. However there is financial assistance available, dependent on personal circumstance, and you can find out more information here. Rosedale Funeral Home has signed the Fair Funerals Pledge which means we will help families create services that are within their means and are open about our prices. We also offer subsided packages too and you can find more information here.

Please contact any of our branches to discuss whether the restrictions have impacted on a funeral plan.

Social isolation can mean that more bereavement support is needed. We have set up some new services to support you including GriefChat. This is accessible by clicking here. You can talk to a specially trained counsellor who will listen, explore how grief is affecting you and help you find any additional support you may need. It is a completely free service and operates from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and via email outside these hours.

We are more than willing to support families to organise a memorial service or celebration of life service at a later date, perhaps on a special date such as a birthday or anniversary. This may well be an ideal opportunity to carry out any wishes that the deceased may have left for their funeral arrangements and to unite family and friends. Please talk to a member of our team about this and they can offer advice and any information.

Although you cannot organise the kind of send off that you might have imagined, please be assured that we remain committed to the highest possible standards of care and professionalism. The pledge on our mortuary doors says,

“Behind these doors is the most sacred room in the building. It is where loved ones come to be prepared for the most difficult event in a family’s life. Those that work behind these doors pledge to each family a never-ending commitment of respect and service to those that place their trust in us.”

We felt it was really important to continue offering the vital support people need, especially now when it is difficult to spend time with family and friends. Grief is different for everyone and sometimes people want advice, support and a listening ear from someone outside the family. We are a family business and are here to help anyone.

Attleborough

Beccles

Bungay

Diss

Halesworth

Harleston

Wymondham

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