Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for funerals
Attendance at funerals
To assist those organising a funeral, from 26 April 2021 the main hall at Falkirk Crematorium will be able to accommodate a maximum of 40 people with no standing room. This is in line with the Scottish Government rules with social distancing in place. This is vitally important to help prevent and mitigate the risk of transmission of coronavirus.
It is advised that up to 50 people may attend an outdoor funeral service.
Social distancing remains in place
We would remind mourners that social distancing measures remain in place. Regulation 4 of the 2020 Regulations requires anyone responsible for a crematorium to ensure that physical distancing provisions are still in place and the minimum 2 metre distancing is observed (except between 2 members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer).
At the end of the service, we also advise mourners to continue to follow 'social distancing' guidance, eg that they do not 'shake hands' at the end of cremation and interment services. We are aware that this is a widely accepted practise at funerals, however by avoiding unnecessary contact we can, collectively, do our best to reduce the spread of the virus.
Test and Protect – Contact details for lead family members attending funerals
We are supporting NHS Scotland's Test and Protect. To stop the spread of coronavirus, we'll need to record contact details for family lead members attending funerals to assist in tracing them if it becomes necessary. Details taken will include the name and contact telephone number and the day and time of your arrival. Please assist our staff on site with this.
Contacting people who might have been exposed to coronavirus is an important step in stopping the spread. Your information will be held securely by Falkirk Council, and will be destroyed after 21 days. Your information will only be used if requested by NHS Scotland or statutory partners. Our Personal Data Privacy Notice contains more information.
Singing and chanting at funerals
The First Minister also announced that singing and chanting in a communal setting should be avoided, due to the increased risk of transmission of the virus. It is therefore advised that recordings of music are used as an alternative at funeral services.
As from Monday 13 July organists are available to play for services at Falkirk Crematorium through the normal booking process. However, the Scottish Government has advised that singing should be avoided during services until further notice. We can further advise that, as an additional measure to protect service users, hymn books and song sheets have been withdrawn from Falkirk Crematorium.
Additional cleaning of the Crematorium Chapel and other control measures at facilities remain in place.
Book of Remembrance
Changes to the Scottish Government advice from 26 April 2021 means that viewings of the Book of Remembrance at Falkirk Crematorium will now be available - by appointment only.
Given the small size of the chapel that houses the Books, this will be for one family at a time. This is to ensure compliance with social distancing measures set out by the Scottish Government, and is essential for the safety of those visiting and our staff. We apologise for any inconvenience or distress this may cause.
Please contact the Bereavement Services Office to book your visit. Our staff can greet you and ensure that the relevant book and page is open for you.
The Book of Remembrance can also be viewed online at anytime.
For more information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), see www.falkirk.gov.uk/covid19.
We appreciate that during this difficult time you will have to make important decisions about the funeral you would like. The following information will help you to make an informed choice on the option that is best for you and your family.
If you would like any advice or information about burials, cremations and cemeteries, please contact us:
Our policies on the cremation of babies and infants and cemetery management are available to read below.
- Baby and infant cremation policy
- Cemetery management policy
The Bereavement Services office will be closed on public holidays. Cremations and burials will still take place if they have been booked in advance (except for Christmas and New Year).
During the period of closure, cremations can still be booked by calling the out of hours team on 01324 506070.
If you require further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funeral Support Payment
Funeral Support Payment is a payment available to people in Scotland, who are on certain benefits or tax credits, and need support to meet the costs of a funeral.
Frequently asked questions
- Are there any religious groups which forbid cremation to their members?
- Who keeps the cremated remains pending a final decision?
- Can items of jewellery be left on the body for cremation?
- Can relatives witness the committal of the coffin to the cremator?
- Do I need a Funeral Director or can I arrange a funeral myself?
- How many of the deaths which occur in Great Britain each year result in cremation?
- How soon after the service will the cremation take place?
- Is cremation more expensive than burial?
- How much does it cost to bury a cremation casket?
- Is the coffin cremated with the body?
- Is the cremation of a body governed by a code of ethics and working practices?
- What are the normal options for disposal of cremated remains?
- What happens to the coffin after the committal?
- What happens to the cremated remains after the cremation?
- What is a Garden of Remembrance and what facilities may be provided there?
- What memorial facilities are available at crematoria?
- What procedures are followed to ensure that cremated remains are kept separate?
- Can more than one body be cremated in a cremator at one time?
- Must a burial be associated with a religious ceremony?
- What can I plant on a grave?
- How do I register a death?
- Do I need to use a funeral director?
Are there any religious groups which forbid cremation to their members?
All Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, allow cremation. Cremation is also acceptable to Sikhs, Hindus, Parsees and Buddhists, but is forbidden by Orthodox Jews and Muslims.
Who keeps the cremated remains pending a final decision?
The family can keep the cremated remain pending a final decision. Alternatively the cremated remains can be kept at the crematorium for a short time. You may have to pay a charge.
Can items of jewellery be left on the body for cremation?
We prefer that all jewellery is removed from the body before the coffin is transported to the crematorium. It will not be possible to recover any items of jewellery after the coffin has arrived at the crematorium.
Can relatives witness the committal of the coffin to the cremator?
Yes. You should arrange this with the Funeral Director as early as possible when making the funeral arrangements.
Do I need a Funeral Director or can I arrange a funeral myself?
You do not need to use a Funeral Director.
How many of the deaths which occur in Great Britain each year result in cremation?
Approximately 70% of all recorded deaths are now followed by cremation.
How soon after the service will the cremation take place?
The cremation always takes place on the same day as the service.
Is cremation more expensive than burial?
The cost of burial is usually much higher than the cost of cremation.
How much does it cost to bury a cremation casket?
Is the coffin cremated with the body?
Yes, the coffin is cremated along with the body.
Is the cremation of a body governed by a code of ethics and working practices?
What are the normal options for disposal of cremated remains?
Each cremation has a Garden of Remembrance where cremated remains can be buried. Cremated remains can be removed from the crematorium to be buried in a grave in a cemetery or churchyard or buried in the Garden of Remembrance at another crematorium. They can also be buried or dispersed in an area selected by the family.
What happens to the coffin after the committal?
The coffin is taken to the cremator, in a room known as the committal room. The nameplate on the coffin is checked to make sure the identity is correct. An identity card will then accompany the coffin and the remains until they are removed from the crematorium.
What happens to the cremated remains after the cremation?
After a cremation, the cremated remains are placed in a container with an identity tag for dispersal or collection. Any ferrous metals (iron) from the coffin or metal used in medical implants will be removed and disposed of separately. Under the Code of Cremation Practice, non-ferrous metals will be disposed of. Please do not expect any jewellery left on the body to be returned to you.
What is a Garden of Remembrance and what facilities may be provided there?
The Garden of Remembrance is a special area, often next to the crematorium, which is set aside for the disposal of cremated remains. As the gardens are constantly in use, it may not be possible or appropriate to mark or identify the exact location of individual cremated remains.
What memorial facilities are available at crematoria?
The most common form of memorial is the book of remembrance. The book is usually displayed in a special memorial chapel and can be viewed automatically on the anniversary of the date of death or on request. For more information on the memorial options available, please contact your funeral director or call us on 01324 503650.
What procedures are followed to ensure that cremated remains are kept separate?
A cremator can only accept one coffin at a time and all remains must be removed before the unit can be used again. Each coffin is given an identity card which accompanies the coffin and cremated remains throughout the cremation.
Can more than one body be cremated in a cremator at one time?
Each cremation is carried out separately. Certain exceptions can be made, such as a mother and baby, or twin children. The next of kin must make a specific request for this.
Must a burial be associated with a religious ceremony?
No. The family can arrange any service they wish or no ceremony needs to take place at all. Memorial services can be carried out separately from the burial ceremony.
What can I plant on a grave?
We do not allow planting on any of our sites or graves.
How do I register a death?
Do I need to use a funeral director?
Although anyone can organise a funeral, most people are happy to hand the funeral arrangements over to a professional as there are many tasks that must be carried out after a death. Many of the tasks carried out by a Funeral Director are very complicated, and may be difficult for a family member to carry out.
If you are thinking of doing it all yourself, you should have an understanding of the legal requirements for a funeral. These include registering the death, getting medical certificates, organising a suitable coffin and organising transportation.
For advice or more information, please contact us.