Churches, funeral homes getting short end of the stick
THE EDITOR, Madam:
COVID-19 has affected every sector of our society, although there have been tighter restrictions for some sectors. I am very concerned with the recent imposition of tight restrictions which have been placed around the neck of the church. Whereas I am not taking for granted the need to remain safe and practice social-distancing, I think that the move to discontinue funeral services, close churches and have worship services streamed online is in the wrong direction.
Churches have been very obedient and have observed all government stipulations and protocols – most services are reduced to two or two and a half hours.
It is also hard to understand why funeral services have been discontinued. Things are very complicated and anyone who is in this position must be prepared to face two realities: that our loved ones will not be allowed an opportunity to have a proper burial, and the family must be prepared to pay high fees and experience delays.
We are not certain when things will normalise. Funeral fees are already high and with this delay, who will pay the additional cost to the funeral homes for storage? When the funeral homes are full, where will the bodies be stored? Who will cover the cost of the electricity fees that the funeral homes will pay? Will JPS grant the funeral homes exemptions from light bills? Who will pay the staff for their services in the funeral homes?
These are important questions for the government to consider. As citizens we understand the need to be safe and remain socially distant. However, I think this move to force church services online and to discontinue funeral services is a double-edge sword which will affect the church community and the country.
This is a bitter pill which has left a bad taste in the mouth of many individuals. We would appreciate if the Government revisits its recent decision.
Northern Caribbean University
School of Religion and Theology