We had our first two graveside funerals yesterday. They were different. Short obviously under today’s rules, with people trying to maintain a 2 metre distance where necessary. The manager of the cemetery was wearing a black mask. The undertakers stepping well back to give space to themselves and others. There is little in the way of meeting beforehand, the choosing of hymns and readings. But in the end, though very different, I found that each family gave them their own character. There is time for someone from the family to say something, one family chose to play some music. Although brief compared to the usual service, they had a solemnity and dignity that you might have thought would be missing in a short service. There is always the opportunity to hold a memorial service later, and I am sure many families will want to do that in whichever way they choose. So I was reassured. In one sense they are unsatisfactory, not what people normally would have hoped for, but they still have that atmosphere of love with a family gathered around one they love and will miss.

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