Burials Act

BURIALS ACT. A Bill passed in Parliament, 1880. Before the passing of the Act no deceased persons (with certain exceptions, specified in the Rubric) could be buried in consecrated ground without the Service of the Church of England being read over their remains. Now, anyone who wishes to have his relatives or friends buried in any such ground without any religious service, or with any other Christian and orderly service than that of the Church of England, can do so. This service may be conducted by anybody, man, woman, or child, but 48 hours' notice must be given in writing to the incumbent, who still has all his legal rights preserved. The Burials Bill deals solely with the churchyard, and confers no rights as to the tolling of the bell, or to the use of any church or consecrated chapel.

Under this Act the Clergy are empowered to use the Service of the Church for the burial of the dead in any unconsecrated burial ground or cemetery.

The Bill owes its origin to the agitation of Dissenters, and that their supposed grievances were purely sentimental is shown by the fact that comparatively few funerals are taken under this Act.