A funeral director has asked people to “resurrect an old tradition” by stopping and bowing when a hearse passes them during the pandemic.
Scottish Government guidance has restricted funeral attendance to close family in an attempt to maintain social distancing during lockdown.
However, William Purves Funeral Directors believes a return to a tradition of standing still for a moment and bowing would act as a symbol of support for those grieving at this time.
The service said: “Could we ask you to join people all over the country resurrecting this old tradition as we make our way to funerals with very few people attending?
“If you see a hearse, could you stop, stand for a moment as it passes, perhaps take off your cap, and bow your head?
‘It would mean the world to families in a time of sadness.’William Purves Funeral Directors
“In these times where funerals are restricted, our chance to support people during bereavement is limited. So, we wondered if we could revive an old tradition that would show people that their loss is noticed and shared by us all?
“It would mean the world to families in a time of sadness.”
Speaking about the significance of bowing, Tim Purves, chairman of William Purves, said: “This is someone’s final journey. In this unprecedented time, when a hearse passes, we know there is no opportunity for friends and neighbours to attend – even family as numbers are restricted to 10 maximum.
“The brief moment of respect we can give is a nice way to mark the journey on behalf of the family as we’re not brushing the significance under a carpet. It’s the opposite; we’re taking a moment for them.”
Advice from the Government has stated in-person funerals should be kept to the smallest number of people as possible and those attending should maintain a minimum of a two-metre distance from one another, as well as from crematorium and burial staff.
An exception is given to those from the same household or a carer and/or person assisted by a carer.
Families who have lost a loved one have also been urged not to delay funerals until after restrictions are lifted.
Last week Dr Gregor Smith, Scotland’s interim chief medical officer, said there was anecdotal evidence some people were postponing the funeral process, which could create a backlog.
“At this time, it’s very important that people do not delay funerals of their loved ones,” he said.