The minister, 53-year-old Alison Davies, said that when mourners joined her in reciting the prayer during the funeral of a 94-year-old woman at Coychurch Crematorium, in Bridgend, Wales, that the chapel superintendent “wagged her finger” at her and told her that not more than one person could recite it as it would count as “chanting”.
“When I started reciting it, mourners stood up and joined in. The family were only mumbling it quietly and were all socially distanced and wearing masks.
But the chapel superintendent wagged her finger at me and said ‘you can’t do that’,” Ms Davies
told The Sun.
The director of the council-run crematorium claimed that her staff were only following government guidelines.
In another set of bizarre coronavirus laws imposed last week by the notionally conservative government, “congregational singing” and chanting have been banned from worship.
“Activities such as singing, chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should be specifically avoided by congregations/worshippers. This is because there is a possible additional risk of transmission in environments where individuals are singing or chanting as a group, and this applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used,” the government rules published October 8th
The regulations add that for the same reason, “spoken responses during worship should also not be in a raised voice”.
This is not the first time in recent weeks that a funeral director has intervened at sensitive moments during funerals because of alleged breaches of coronavirus laws.
Last week, two men were scolded and told to stop cuddling their grieving elderly mother at their father’s funeral because of social distancing rules.
Despite the two men being in a “support bubble” with the widow, a Milton Keynes funeral director had interrupted the service after they had moved their chairs next to their mother to hold her.
The member of staff from Crownhill Crematorium scolded them,
saying: “You can’t move the chairs, you were told.”
The hysteria created by government-mandated rules on human interaction has filtered down into schools, with reports that some had banned singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in class. While not yet illegal, the Department of Education last week
said it was up to individual schools to decide whether to ban children from singing the song to each other.