There are a lot of extra things to think about while we go through these strange and uncertain times, and funerals are no exception. We have previously written a blog on ‘How many people are allowed at a funeral’
, but do you know what you’re allowed to say in the funeral notice that goes in the newspaper and online?
A funeral notice is something that announces the passing of a person, usually online on a site such as funeral-notices.co.uk
, as well as in their local newspaper. It will typically give the name, date of death, a list of close family, as well as any funeral arrangements so that friends and family can attend.
But while a maximum of only 30 people can attend a funeral at the moment, what is the guidance on what you should and shouldn’t say in a funeral notice?
On the NAFDs dedicated Covid-19 advice website, they give the following advice to all funeral directors:
Please don’t publicly advertise the funeral details to reduce the risk of other, well-meaning mourners arriving unexpectedly. This is not permitted under current social distancing laws. and they may be turned away at the door, which could be distressing for them and the bereaved family.
Read the full article here
This is not to say that you should not announce the passing at all, on the contrary in fact; while we are unable to see all our loved ones on a regular basis we should keep all lines of communication open as much as possible.
And just to be clear, this is not a hard and fast rule for England and there’s no law actually stopping you from publishing the details, but it is just not advisable when there is a chance more than the restricted number of guests may attend. You can always say something like ‘Funeral attendance by invite only’, or words to that effect.
You may want to keep details of the actual funeral to yourself and only give them out to the people you want to attend, but a notice online and in the newspaper can still let a vast audience that a loved one has passed away. Once the notice is online, it can be used by those friends and family who cannot attend the funeral to leave tributes, memories and donations, which are all a great source of comfort to many.
The advice from the Welsh government
, albeit very similar to the advice in England, has gone a slight step further and states that those organising funerals must expressly invite those they wish to attend (though this does not require any formality such as sending an invitation in writing).
In view of the risk of people attending uninvited (as of course is the normal practice), those organising should also be encouraged to limit information about the time and location of the funeral in death notices and make clear that attendance at the funeral is by invitation only.
For more information on what to write in a funeral notice, please feel free to check out the following article:
How to Write a Good Obituary Notice
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