The Diocese of Kilmore has published guidelines for holding funerals in local churches.
The directive was issued to priests of the region this afternoon to ensure gatherings adhere to HSE and Government guidelines.
The diocese says funerals will continue to be held because of necessity, but restrictions have been put in place to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
There’ll no longer be wakes in the family home, priests aren’t required to lead prayers in the home, and there’s to be no sympathising or physical contact with the bereaved.
It also outlines that there’ll be no removal to the Church on the evening before, no more than twenty close family members can be in the chapel and the Funeral Mass will be simple with Communion only shared if done so safely.
At the graveside, social distancing rules will still be followed.
Kilmore Diocese says the equivalent of a Month’s Memory Mass can be held when restrictions are lifted.
The directive acknowledges the regulations don’t give the grieving family the normal comfort of friends and neighbours and because of this, the role of priests takes on a new role where they must be extra sensitive in how they relate to the bereaved.