Guidance available on the Church of England website makes clear that Christian funerals will continue but with some adaptations because of the exceptional circumstances.
It acknowledges that the changes will be very difficult but are being made to protect everyone.
Recommendations include limiting the numbers of those attending the funeral to immediate family and using technology to capture the event for those who are unable to be there in person.
The guidance makes clear that social distancing measures should be observed for those attending the funeral in person.
The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, said: “When someone we love dies, it is a time of great sadness.
“Funerals are significant events to mark the end of a person’s life here on earth, and family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God’s keeping.
“As we adapt to the threat of COVID-19 in our society the nature of funerals is having to change because we all need to be keeping people safe in line with government guidelines.
“However, while funerals are going to be different for the foreseeable future we remain committed to offering pastoral and spiritual support as we share the love and hope of Jesus Christ.”
- Guidance for parishes on Coronavirus COVID-19
- Read a blog by The Revd Dr Sandra Millar, the Church of England’s Head of Life Events, setting out some alternative steps people who have lost loved ones could take.