Funerals and Mourning Rituals in the Time of COVID-19
(Updated November 24, 2020)
The twin mitzvot of comforting the mourners and bringing honour to the deceased are our priority, even under such trying circumstances. Our Rabbis, Cantors, and Professional Staff are here to support you as always.
Most of the information here is still relevant: https://holyblossom.org/mourning/#1473943854726-86bd7ed1-6859
Designed with good guidance of the Ministry of Health, the following are the extraordinary protocols for these extraordinary circumstances.
Effective November 23, and until further notice, the maximum number of attendees at a funeral service or unveiling is limited to 10 (ten) people, including clergy. Funeral home and cemetery staff are additional. Those who act as pallbearers or participate in the burial must wear gloves. Every household must stand 2 metres apart from one another and 2 metres from the grave as well.
These rituals are as powerful as ever – if not more so. We are confident the ceremonies will be a great source of comfort even though adapted to keep everyone healthy.
Shiva ought to be private. Mourners can identify days and times when they’d welcome visitors via video conference or phone. If you’d like some guidance about how to establish a Virtual Shiva via Zoom, Iris Spitz can be your guide. Iris can be reached at: [email protected].
Mourners have two options.
- You can join the daily services conducted by our Rabbis and Cantors via Zoom. Service times and simple links may be found here. The name of your loved one will be remembered before Kaddish.
- If you’d like our volunteer Shiva Service leaders to lead just your circle of family and friends in a tailor-made service via Zoom, that can be arranged for you. These shiva services are held at 8:00 pm, Sunday – Thursday.
Visiting the Cemeteries
While our priority has been and continues to be, our ability to be able to service burials in a timely and efficient manner, we have re-opened our cemetery in a limited manner. The safety of our staff is very important to us. Commencing Monday, November 1, 2020, and until further notice, the cemetery will be open only for visits (no monument unveilings), for limited hours, as follows:
Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed on all other days
We are closed for Shabbat, and we will also remain closed on all religious holy days.
During all other times, our cemetery’s gates will otherwise be locked and entry to visitors will not be permitted other than in the case of funerals in accordance with our existing Covid-19 Protocols.
All unveiling ceremonies will need to be rescheduled for when Public Health indicates it is safe to do so. Lindsay Mockler will be happy to help you make arrangements. She may be reached at [email protected].
Holy Blossom Temple offers services and resources to provide some measure of comfort to our members and friends during this time of physical isolation.