Impact of COVID-19 on Funeral Rituals & Practices in Ireland

A Study

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An Invitation

The challenges of the COVID-19 public health guidelines have had an impact on every aspect of life. The pandemic may bring about unexpected changes to the customs and practices of Ireland long into the future. One important facet of Irish life it has affected is how people accompany the bereaved.

Some have argued that the Covid-19 pandemic has ‘diminished the traditions and rituals we use to say goodbye’ when those close to us die. Funeral workers recognised that grieving and the traditional Irish Funeral ‘changed overnight’. Due to public health measures, funeral services became more private than ever before. Catholic priests felt ‘under pressure’ to hold funeral Masses, and funeral care practices varied widely.

President Michael D Higgins has suggested that things could “go either way” after the pandemic.

In our study, we want to:

  1. identify the way people accompany dying, deceased, and bereaved persons
  2. understand how bereavement support is offered by those in formal positions of responsibility and informally as ‘neighbours’, and
  3. learn how the pandemic impacted Catholic funerals from participants’ perspectives.

We would like to invite you to participate in our study. Our survey will take about 15 minutes. It will help us gain insight into what is an important experience. Your responses will help us paint a picture of what is currently happening and possible trends into the future.

We will also be conducting individual interviews. If you are interested in participating in our interview phase, please express your interest by 31 July 2021.

Aoife and Michael

  • Dr Michael Shortall, Registrar:
  • Dr Aoife McGrath, Director of Pastoral Theology:

Take the Survey

Thank you for taking the time

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