Funerals in the time of COVID-19: the latest advice
We’ve been singing at funerals for over a decade, and we’ve never seen anything like the current situation around COVID-19. We know the comfort and emotional release live singing brings to any funeral service, and we want to continue helping families by singing on throughout this current situation and beyond.
Funerals will inevitably have to change in their format due to coronavirus. Representatives from the National Association of Funeral Directors and other organisations met with the government on Tuesday to discuss this. In line with the latest guidance from NAFD, here’s how our flexible approach can ensure you can celebrate a life in song, regardless of the funeral format you agree with your funeral director.
For some funerals, it’s business as usual, but probably not for much longer. We can lead hymns, sings solos for reflection and at arrival and departure, whether in church or at a crematorium.
Hymn singing at funerals
An article in The Telegraph suggested that communal hymn singing might “Be strongly discouraged during funerals as it will help reduce transmission risks.” As experienced soloists, we can sing the hymns on behalf of everyone instead, and almost eliminate the risk for the family by singing at a safe distance from those attending. Solos can also replace hymns, so the family don’t feel they have to join in.
Church of England funerals
The Church of England announced that “Christian funerals will continue in the Church of England but inevitably there will be some adaptations to protect everyone. This means funerals can go ahead, but they may be different from what might normally be expected.”
At time of writing, the bishop’s conference of England and Wales has stated that “There will be no public acts of worship, however churches will remain open for private prayer.” However, at the moment this does not definitely exclude baptisms, weddings and funerals.
Funerals with just close family and a memorial service later
This is the way we think things are going for the short term. For us, the number of those attending doesn’t matter. Our commitment, professionalism and high quality singing remains the same; the only element we tone down is the volume. We will take precautions to minimise our proximity to you and your family, and bring backing tracks so no organist is required, helping reduce the number of persons in the same space.We can then join your family again at a later date to sing at the memorial service or celebration of life once the virus has passed.
Direct cremation or burial and a memorial service later
This may happen if the outbreak results in some kind of so-called “lockdown”. Direct means that the service is unattended, except by clergy (burial) and a funeral director (cremation). If you are given this option, let us know and we’ll put you name down on our priority list to sing at the memorial service whenever it happens.
Live streamed / webcast funerals
As experienced performers, we understand the subtle differences a broadcast requires and can adapt without anyone every noticing what we are doing. We can sing all the hymns and solos too, so there is no need to lose out on live music during the service.
No choir and no organist
With our naturally strong voices and professional backing tracks, we can replace both an organist and a choir, minimising the number of people attending the service. This also means we can provide wonderful live music in other settings, including private rooms and chapels at funeral homes.
Memorial services and celebrations of life
Once UK churches and venues return to normal again, we will be poised and ready to be part of these special celebrations again.
Burial grounds and graveside
We are happy and able to sing outside where social distancing is easier, thanks to our wireless Bose unit and professional backing tracks.
So, feel free to call us to discuss singing at a funeral. We are always happy to talk through music choices direct with families by phone, and there are plenty of sound files to listen to on our Listen Page.