Under alert level 3, funerals and tangihanga must take place at a funeral home, not at a church or marae, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Following inquiries about whether funerals could be held at a church under alert level 3, as long as numbers present were limited to 10, the ministry updated its Covid-19 website to state that churches and marae are closed at alert level 3.
“Funerals and tangihanga must take place at a funeral home,” the notice stated in its information for alert level 3. “These services are limited to 10 people, including kaikaranga, kaikōrero, members of the clergy or staff who are attending,” it added.
Fr John O’Connor, acting director of the National Liturgy Office, has had discussions with the Funeral Directors Association, and said: “An ordained Catholic minister can be called on to minister to the deceased and family alongside (and under the direction of) a funeral director. I invite all ordained Catholic priests and deacons to welcome any approach made by a funeral director especially in these difficult weeks.”
Photo: NZTA – Wikimedia Commons