About the Project

About the Project

Care in Funerals Project

About the Project

The Care in Funerals project was developed because we were concerned about the ways death rites and ceremonies were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and regulations introduced to manage it. We think it is important to recognise that funerals can be important forms of care and respect, both for people who have died and for their families and friends. We will bear this in mind as we consider both the experiences of disruption and new ways of conducting funerals.

The project will investigate and learn from the experiences of people involved in organising or attending funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether as family and friends, funeral directors and staff, or celebrants or leaders of death rites and ceremonies. We know that many have experienced difficult and sad situations and conversations, and some have felt a strong sense of unfairness or distress at not being able to do the right thing. Many people, however, have also developed or adopted new ways of organising death rites and funerals, some of which have brought advantages, such as enabling people who live far away to take part in ceremonies online.  

We will use what we learn from hearing about these experiences to develop a resource to help policy makers, people involved in funeral service provision, and bereaved families to reflect on what matters about funerals. We want this to help people arrange things accordingly in the future.

If you are interested in taking part in this study, please see Information for Participants.

This study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19. The University of Aberdeen is sponsoring the study. The grant number is ES/V017047/1.

Project Origins

We developed this project from an online ‘Conversation on dying and grieving in the time of COVID-19’ hosted as part of the University of Aberdeen’s ‘Conversations on…’ series in June 2020. Here we share a summary of the event.