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Funeral services in Mauritius

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Losing someone is no easy task especially when you have to plan for the funeral service. Either on your own or with members of your family, you have to take the necessary steps to get the service done in the appropriate way. While some go for private services, others like bigger events especially if the deceased was well known. In Mauritius, because of the multi cultural society that it is, different funeral services are held based on customs and traditions of each ethnic group. For instance, while Christians have wakes before the funeral service, Muslims bury their loved ones as soon as possible.

Before the service, the death must be declared within 24 hours to the civil status authority in the locality of the deceased which then issues a permit for burial/cremation. Documents needed for registration of death are as follows:
  • the ID card of the deceased
  • marriage and birth certificates
  • medical certificate regarding the cause of death
  • the ID card of the informer

Civil status offices in Mauritius can be contacted at:
  • Port Louis (201-2803)
  • Pamplemousses (243-3577)
  • Riviere du Rempart (412-8393)
  • Flacq (413-2126)
  • Moka (433-2360)
  • Black River (452-0877)
  • Savanne (625-5596)
  • Grand Port (631-2244)
  • Rose Hill (464-6623)
  • Curepipe (698-4488)

In case the service of the civil status cannot be obtained, it is recommended to contact the local police in the area.

Planning the funeral ceremony

The first thing to consider with the loss of a loved one is where you want the ceremony to take place: at your house, in a church etc and how to want the ceremony to go. If the deceased already had a plan beforehand it will definitely get this responsibility off your shoulder like choosing cremation over burying and you can just contact the local services for this purpose. Usually, a funeral home (for example F.Sans Toupet found at 33, Rue Souillac in Port Louis, 212-0540) gives you all the advices you may need such as the permits you need to bury/cremate, which crematory is closest to you, where to get coffins (on average Rs4,000 for a coffin and car procession), which cemetery has available spots for burying (Rs100 for buying a plot of land for burial plus Rs50 as burial fee) and how to bring the dead body to where you want the service to take place. Of course, they require a certain fee but will take care of all the arrangements.

Besides the ceremony itself, you may want to personalise your service. You have to choose who will read (who volunteers) poems/parts from religious books for the service, if you want to show some pictures of the deceased during the service, catering for the families and friends (food, drinks, napkins etc), chairs, the type of music you want to play if you think it is appropriate or songs you want to play (if the deceased liked some particular music or songs from the choir itself), the clergy you want to say prayers, the materials you will need for religious ceremonies, personal items of the deceased (how you want to dress the corpse, jewellery that goes with it and anything else you want to place with the body). You can go for an open casket or a closed casket funeral based on the state of the body.

Foreign services

If a Mauritian has died outside of Mauritius, the family must contact the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life for the issue of a permit for the body to be brought to the island. The necessary arrangements can then be made for the funeral. If someone has died on a plane or ship, the person in head of the plane/ship must draw up a declaration of death which is transferred to the civil status office for the necessary measures to be taken for the funeral to take place.

yonne Published 31 Jul 2011

1 Comment

anonymous_4 30 Sep 2012

I suppose that if a Mauritian dies abroad, there are too many bureaucracies and expenses.
But I think that the authorities must be concerned regarding deeply in order to help some people who need help. Finally, I believe that we should implement more measures.