During a pandemic when traditional funeral services may not be possible, a cremation funeral service can provide a way for family and friends to safely pay their final respects. Here are some creative ways to pay tribute to your loved one while maintaining a safe social distance.
Remote Service And Funeral Procession
One option if your friends and family are local is to host a remote funeral service followed by a traditional funeral procession. Work with your local pastor or faith leader to have him or her present for the video conference. You'll also want to make sure that you share the meeting link with friends and family well in advance of the service. It's a good idea to create a program for the order people will speak to keep the call moving along. Schedule a time after the meeting for the funeral procession, giving those in attendance the chance to meet up in a nearby parking lot to begin the drive. You can have the procession run along a route past your home, as this will give you an opportunity to share your appreciation for everyone's presence from a distance.
Outdoor Cremains Scattering
While scattering cremains outdoors isn't a new concept for cremation funeral services, it does provide a better chance to safely social distance while holding a more traditional ceremony. Work with your funeral home director to set up a specific number of chairs at the outdoor venue of your choosing. You can space the chairs out with a distance of 6 feet or more between them. Limit the number of friends and family invited to attend to ensure there is not a large crowd at the ceremony. You may even want to set up an RSVP invitation system to finalize the number of people in attendance. As a courtesy, provide face coverings for everyone in attendance to make sure you are following local public health guidelines for your outdoor gathering.
Even cremation funerals can have a wake. Regardless of the presence of a casket, a wake provides people with a chance to pay their final respects even if they were not immediate family members. Ask your funeral home director about scheduling a wake with extended visiting hours. You can then make time slots available for the bereaved to pay their respects at the funeral home. Be sure to allow time between visits, such as 15-minute or 30-minute intervals, so the funeral home staff can sanitize the viewing room as needed. You can be present at the wake virtually by having the funeral home director set up a live stream. This way you can interact with everyone in attendance without being exposed to numerous people on the day of the wake. This option leaves you free to set up a more traditional memorial service once it is safe to host large gatherings again.