In these times of restrictions on gatherings and the closure of places of worship, how we celebrate the Funeral Rites will vary depending on the circumstances. The priority is to allow for the dignified burial of our deceased loved ones, while at the same time, protecting all concerned from the increased risk of infection of Coronavirus (Covid-19)
The traditional wake service should not take place, as it encourages visitors to the home of the deceased and risks the spread of infection. The Wake House should be advertised as ‘Private’, and those who visit should adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The Priest, without visiting the wake, will engage pastorally with the family and make arrangements for the Funeral and Burial by telephone.
A booklet on preparing for the Funeral Mass is available to download here: https://banagherparish.com/sacraments/preparing-for-a-funeral
A Prayer Service which can be led by a family member at the Wake House is available to download here:
The Funeral Mass, where possible, will be celebrated privately in St Joseph's Church, Fincairn, with the deceased remaining in the family home or funeral home. Family members and friends will be able to participate in the Funeral Mass by watching it online from their homes. There will be no congregation in the Church for the Funeral Mass. The priest will then meet the funeral at the graveside for the prayers of committal. Numbers at the graveside should be as small as possible and everyone present must observe social distancing guidelines.
Depending on Public Health Guidelines, funerals may need to take place quickly after the death and/or without a Church Service. If this is the case, the burial rites at the graveside may be the best that can be offered, with a funeral Mass taking place at another time.
The guidelines issued by the Department of Health stipulate that funerals may be attended by:
- members of the deceased person’s household;
- close family members; or
- if no-one within sub-paragraphs (1) or (2) is attending, a friend.
As has been the case, these guidelines are subject to change at short notice.
Please be assured of the prayers of the priests of the parish, especially in this most unprecedented and difficult time.
Updated: 12noon 01.04.2020