Anglican Church to follow health’s advisory regarding funeral service amid COVID-19 | 26 March 2020
The Anglican Church has said that during the COVID-19 pandemic it is maintaining the funeral services according to regulations issued by the Public Health Authority.
In a communiqué released yesterday, the Anglican Church said it received a letter dated March 19, 2020 from the Public Health Authority advising it how to deal with religious gatherings and funerals.
“This letter informed us that it has been found necessary to suspend all large public gatherings, including faith-based masses and services with immediate effect until further notice.
“In the same letter the Church was advised that funerals may still be conducted and that the following procedures and observances have to be encouraged during the wake, service and burial ceremonies:
- Only close family and friends may attend the funeral;
- Reduce the wake and ceremonies to as short a time as possible, preferably less than one hour;
- Do not kiss or touch the deceased person’s body;
- Keeping the coffin closed is desirable;
- Avoid kissing, hugging and other forms of close physical contact with other persons during the wake, service and burial;
- Try keeping a distance of at least one metre in between persons attending the funeral at the wake, service and burial;
- Sprinkling with holy water at the wake, service or burial should be done only by the celebrant officiating the funeral;
- Should the family serve any refreshments at the wake or after the funeral service or burial, these should preferably be packaged in individual packs or bottles;
- Disinfect surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant e.g. Javel;
- Dispose of soiled or used tissues immediately in a rubbish bin or plastic bag.
“Following the Public Health Advisory of March 19, 2020, and until further notice from the same Public Health Authority, the Anglican Church is maintaining the funeral services according to these regulations above. The Diocesan Liturgical Commission has already worked on a shorter version of the funeral liturgy in times of crisis, which will be used for funeral services.”
The Most Revd James Wong Yin Song
Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean