How The Pandemic Has Impacted Funeral Planning Considerations

For those who have never done it before, planning a funeral can be overwhelming. At the very least, families could use experiences from previous funerals that they attended as a reference point for starting the planning process. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has added ever-changing complexities to planning a funeral.

Health and safety concerns, along with mandated social distancing guidelines, have disrupted the funeral traditions that families have found comfort in when a loved one dies. We understand what an emotional hardship this is. We are working closely with families to help them navigate this evolving situation. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, there are ways to still hold a meaningful service.

For many years, Parthemore Funeral Home has been offering webcasting of funeral services from their onsite chapel, which is equipped to provide high-definition video and audio feed for live viewing by friends and family who are not able to attend services in person. You may want to consider reaching out to family and friends to provide favorite memories or remarks that can be read during the service.

For services held at other locations, we can provide video streaming through other popular platforms, like Facebook. All of these video offerings are easily accessible via an internet browser or mobile device. Not only can the service be viewed in real time, it is stored on our website, so it can also be viewed at a later time.

If you’re planning a funeral when the number of people at a public gathering in an indoor location is limited, having the service at an outdoor location (weather permitting) is an option. Social distancing guidelines, established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend staying at least six feet apart from others to reduce the likelihood of spreading disease. If having a group of mourners together in person is important, but you don’t want to increase health risks of having them together in a crowded room, an outdoor location can provide the space you need to keep people far enough apart to be safe. Outdoor services also greatly decrease the challenge of sanitizing commonly touched surfaces.

Some families make the decision to hold a memorial service, gathering family and friends, at a later date. Holding a service at a later date can be done no matter which final disposition is selected. If you’re planning on burial, a small, private graveside service can be held. In the case of cremation, without burial, private family services can be held at the time. In any case, a larger public service can be held, when the pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

The biggest challenge is determining when to plan a public service. At the time this article was written, medical experts and scientists could not accurately predict when the pandemic would subside. So, you’ll have to be flexible and build in contingencies when scheduling the memorial gathering.


No matter what you decide, the obituary listing on our website provides a Tribute section that allows friends and family to share memories about their loved one, upload favorite photos or videos and light virtual candles.

Funerals serve many important psychological, social, and spiritual purposes and we’ve grown accustom to traditions and rituals that fulfill these purposes. Even during normal times, every funeral service is different. Allow yourself to consider different options that will best meet the needs of you and your family.

If you have questions about funeral planning during the pandemic, the best place to start is to talk with one of our licensed funeral directors. They can provide guidance on how to best manage during these challenging times. If you prefer not to meet in person, Parthemore Funeral Home is fully prepared to assist you remotely by phone or via video conferencing.

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