Things have changed dramatically in the last year in the wake of Covid-19, and arranging a funeral in Sheffield during these times can be even more distressing. However, we have put together this guide to help you navigate your way through these turbulent times and make it easier for you to lay your loved ones to rest.
The current restrictions that apply mean that no more than 25 people may attend a funeral and that all mourners must maintain a social distance of a least 2 metres. These limitations are one of the things that increases the amount of distress that mourners are feeling. But you can help people to attend the funeral without having to physically be in the room. Streaming services online through private services, Zoom meetings, Skye and Facebook groups allow people to watch the services and say their goodbyes without leaving their homes. This may not be possible at every venue, but it can't hurt to ask whether this can be set up.
Mourners should also make sure that they use the bathroom before attending any funeral as all public toilets are still closed.
Protocols and Procedures at Cemeteries
Mourners are required to arrive at the cemetery at the same time and follow the hearse, making sure that social distances are observed.
Wakes and Memorials
Though cremations and burials must take place, along with the service to lay your loved one/s to rest, wakes and memorials are something that can be put off until the Covid-19 restrictions have eased.
Contacting Funeral Directors
The sooner your contact your chosen Funeral Director, the better. They should be notified about the death and the planned burial/cremation so that they can start to make all the necessary preparations. If you are looking for a short notice burial due to Islamic tradition and in the Muslim section of a cemetery, the more notice that funeral directors are given, the better.
When the Ghusl is performed, anyone that has contact with the body should be wearing PPE. This includes things such as washing or preparing the body, and also is necessary when dressing the body. Anyone that has any underlying health conditions or falls into a vulnerable category are advised by the council to have no contact with the body.
When performing the Janazah Salaah, it is important to note that under the Covid-19 restrictions, the funeral prayer can only take place at the gravesite at the cemetery. The Imam should lead the Salaah whilst maintaining social distancing. The mourners should stand behind the Imam, observing social distancing.
Once the Janazah Salaah is complete, the body should be buried immediately. Only those that are lowering the body into the grave can stand at the graveside. All mourners must stand back to maintain social distancing.
Backfilling of the grave
Family members are allowed to backfill and shape the grave and conclude any religious rites as long as social distancing measures are observed. Shovels can be provided upon request to help with this.
If you need PPE, it should be noted that neither the council nor the NHS can provide this. Any PPE that is required must be privately sourced when organising the funeral.
Need to talk to us about laying your friends or relatives to rest during the Coronavirus pandemic? Contact us today and see how our friendly and professional services can help you through this difficult time.