Population Minister Riina Solman (Isamaa) has sent churches directives on how to conduct funerals, weddings and other religious functions during the emergency situation sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
"I fully understand the desire of the religious community for the state to set detailed rules concerning, for example, how to conduct funerals during emergency situation, how many people can attend the funeral service, etc. I must note, however, that the state cannot regulate everything," Solman said.
According to Solman, funerals and weddings that bring together relatives and friends must be held for immediate family during the emergency situation.
"Even if we might like the state to set a participant limit, it is not a question of how many people can attend a funeral or a wedding. It is a question of personal responsibility. The less people attend religious services, including funerals, the more responsible our behavior is," Solman said.
Guidelines for organizing a funeral service
To protect the health and life of people, funeral services must be arranged in a way that potential infection is avoided.
- A funeral service must only be held for the immediate family, whether it is a casket burial or an urn funeral;
- Conventional ways of expressing condolences during funerals, hugging and shaking hands, must be avoided;
- Touching objects related to the deceased and to the funeral service must be avoided;
- A funeral service must be kept as brief as possible;
- Holding a wake must be avoided;
- Holding the funeral service indoors (e.g. churches, chapels, homes, premises adapted for funerals) must be avoided; burial must be held in a cemetary.
Editor: Anders Nõmm