With the ever-changing situation we are currently experiencing, I want to update you all on the measures that I as a celebrant, am putting in place in regards to ceremonies I officiate at and meetings that I hold.
I need to protect the health and welfare of my family and friends, fellow professionals I work alongside, families and their guests at ceremonies and meetings, the wider community and myself.
I am washing my hands frequently and using hand sanitiser. I have wipes and sanitiser in my car and carry my own towel so that I can use that to wipe my hands if paper towels are not available at the places I go to.
As much as I believe it is very important to meet families face to face when a funeral service is being arranged, I am encouraging these family meetings to be conducted remotely. There are a few options such as phone, email, Skype, and messenger.
It is natural for me and mourners who attend your loved ones funeral service, to want to shake hands and embrace family members before, during and after a funeral service, however as difficult it may be, it is important that we all refrain from doing these things until after this pandemic is over. This is a caring thing to do, but the truth of the matter is we are endangering lives in doing so.
Crematorium chapels now have limited seating and where there are single chairs, they are placed as such to allow people personal space of 4m2 - a requirement that the government has put in place ( social distancing). It is not the limit of 100 as has been set for indoor gatherings - it goes on the space available. One chapel that I know of now has 29 chairs - another has 25 - and it is changing daily,sometimes hourly.
Your funeral director will have all of the up-to-date information in regards to numbers and of course advise you on such. They are there to help you as much as possible throughout this time.
It is probably best that only a small number of immediate family members attend a funeral service. A larger memorial service can be offered at a later date whereby extended family members and friends can come together with the immediate family to reflect and reminisce. Should more than the number of people allowed into the chapels come to the service, they have to remain outside.
Most chapels now have screens and speakers outside, so the service can still be seen and heard.
In some chapels, web casting may be available or you can engage the services of a professional in that field to live cast the funeral service. Family members can also skype or facetime on their phones throughout the service.
The majority of chapels also have the facilities to record a funeral service which can be shared with family and friends at a later date.
It has also been requested by crematorium chapel staff that any tissues, water bottles and stationery that you may be using or holding on to throughout the service, be disposed of by you on the way out of the chapel.
It is also natural at a wedding to want to cuddle and kiss the couple both before and after the wedding, but this too has to be discouraged. Maybe "blow a kiss" to the couple! Unfortunately, we are all in this together and must protect the health of ourselves and others.
For signing the register and certificates, I will be wiping down the pen before handing it to the next person.
The hand held microphone that is used for vows or poems/readings will also be wiped down in between people speaking.
NAMINGS/RENEWAL OF VOWS/MEMORIAL SERVICES
In relation to these ceremonies, I am applying all of the measures as stated above. Wiping down pens and the microphone.
I wish everyone all the very best particularly at this time.