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How many people can attend a funeral?

In light of recent COVID restrictions, the number of people who could attend funerals was vastly limited. Funeral services became much more private affairs, reserved only for close family and friends. In current times, limitations on the amount of people who can attend has been lifted – and numbers are now mainly affected by the capacity of the chosen venue, rather than government guidelines.

Losing a loved one can be an incredibly distressing and overwhelming time. In this article, we help you to understand the number of people allowed to attend funeral services, as well as delving into the notion of funerals changing altogether and how many previous aspects of funerals have become more personal affairs.

COVID restrictions on funeral services

Despite many COVID restrictions being lifted, limitations still remain on the amount of people attending a funeral service in some cases. This is dependent on the place in which the funeral is being hosted; venues such as churches, crematoriums and chapels often have limits, and could implement a limit on numbers if they want to enforce social distancing measures. Due to these changes, many funerals have become invite-only gatherings in order to limit the spread of coronavirus. This change is welcomed by some people, as it allows for a more intimate ceremony where closest friends and families are prioritised.

However, this has also caused people distress and trauma, having to choose which people should come to the funeral – especially during the times where numbers were as little as 30 people to attend. Therefore, some people may want to plan for a larger service resembling funerals of previous years. In this case, loved ones are typically invited through various forms:

  • Social media
  • Newspaper columns
  • Bulletins
  • Word of mouth

These invitations are perhaps more fitting for funerals that are hosted at larger venues. Even when attending a larger service, there are still actions you can take in order to be COVID conscious, for example it is still recommended to get a lateral flow test before you attend the service. Other advice includes using hand sanitiser and tissues, covering your mouth as you sneeze and also disposing of tissues immediately after use. By utilising these precautions, bigger funerals have been able to go ahead – so some venues may still enforce these measures.

Who can attend a funeral?

In general, funeral services are attended by closest family and friends. A person may wish to keep their ceremony rather small in order to keep the affair private and personal. In some cases, funerals are much larger gatherings as some people may wish to have bigger services to commemorate their loved ones. It is then the role of the funeral director to take care of the vast majority of the planning for the funeral, which lessens the distress on family members.

Can children attend a funeral?

Children within the immediate family are often present at funerals – however, some people may decide that bringing babies and toddlers are not appropriate, as young children are likely to disrupt the service or may become upset and agitated.

Children of an older age are more likely to attend and should perhaps be prepared for what to expect at a funeral ceremony, as this can be a very upsetting time for younger people as well.

Who can attend a wake?

Wakes are usually much more of an intimate affair and are a chance for people to pay their respects to the family. During the pandemic, wakes were often limited to 30 people or less – with the lowest number allowed to attend being just six people. Whereas, now, there is often no limit and restrictions rely solely on the venue holding the funeral.

What if I would like an invite-only wake?

In some cases, the deceased person may also wish to keep their funeral reception a smaller affair. Family members are able to do invite-only wakes, where only a select close few are chosen to attend. In the pandemic, invite-only wakes became far more conventional, as many people can understand the difficulty of planning a funeral with many restrictions still in place.

Another factor of hosting a wake is expense. Often these services can be more costly due to factors such as booking out the reception venue, catering costs and also other expenditures.

That’s why, with a pre-paid funeral plan, costs such as these are managed beforehand, this alleviates the financial burdens a funeral can often bring. By utilising a pre-paid funeral plan, the many stresses of planning a funeral service are lessened – as our funeral directors are able to carry out the exact wishes of the deceased person with also some influence from their closest family members.

Get in touch with one of our specialists today to find out how a pre-paid funeral plan can not only alleviate monetary pressure, but also emotional stress. Look through our range of services on our website to discover funeral plans for when the time comes.

  • Posted 1st November 2021
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