What and How to Host a Virtual Memorial Service?
There’s no denying it: technology has an impact on everything around us, even the events we commemorate. Funerals and memorials are becoming more common. Families are celebrating loved ones with a gathering that includes at least some sort of virtual component, thanks to the emergence of Zoom and other live streaming services.
Many families are exploring alternatives to conventional “in-person” gatherings, whether owing to financial constraints, health or weather challenges, or a desire to accommodate faraway friends and loved ones. One alternative that is growing popular is hosting a virtual funeral or a live streaming tribute.
Is this innovative manner of paying tribute to a loved one the best option for your family? Well, it is debatable. If you’re interested in learning more about why virtual funeral services are one of the trendiest developments in the business, keep reading.
What is a Virtual Funeral, exactly?
To various people, a virtual funeral or celebration of life signifies different things. Some envision it as a totally online, collaborative funeral ceremony where family and friends may digitally commemorate and honor their loved ones. Turning on your laptop, mobile device, tablet, or desktop computer and initiating a video stream may be as simple as that. It’s a live stream that may be broadcast from a location or just shared among friends. Speeches, readings, a slide show, or other group activities that may be done remotely, such as lighting a candle or recounting tales, are usually included in any celebration of life or memorial.
The event may be recorded, depending on the platform, to produce a digital heirloom that can be shared and seen afterward. Others regard a funeral live broadcast as a supplement to an in-person ceremony, either to accommodate far-flung relatives or due to space or other constraints. In that instance, some individuals attend in person, while those who are unable to come in person connect through Zoom or another platform to watch and participate in the funeral or memorial ceremony.
Some Advantages of a Virtual Funeral
Why should you use an online service to supplement or replace a traditional funeral plan? Here are some of the advantages of hosting a virtual funeral, whether it is totally virtual or as part of a real-life event.
- Social Distancing: Recent occurrences, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have altered people’s ability to congregate. When your friends and relatives gather for a large funeral or life celebration, the social distance might be tough. Why not change your funeral plans to meet the new normal instead of requiring everyone to wear masks and keep 6 feet apart? Virtual funeral services allow loved ones to participate at their own pace, with funeral streaming services available from the comfort of their own homes.
- Long-Distance Travel: Even in less chaotic times, when family and friends are dispersed throughout the country, giving people adequate time to get to the funeral may be difficult. Not only do loved ones have to take time off work, but last-minute travel can be costly. Virtual funeral services relieve the stress on your family by allowing them to join in the event from any place.
- Budget: Consider all that goes into preparing a typical funeral. Booking a location and hosting a big number of people for a funeral or a reception with food and drinks may be a costly strain on the family. Instead of worrying about seats, refreshments, and parking, you may have a virtual funeral ceremony to keep things more affordable (and sometimes more straightforward from a planning standpoint). Virtual funeral services can be less expensive than an in-person gathering, not just because you save time and save the burden of preparing a major celebration.
If you’re planning a virtual funeral (without the presence of a body), you’ll need to find a funeral home to assist you with the arrangements. Inquire about the funeral home’s ability to webcast a funeral live online. Some are more prepared and more technologically aware than others.
The first stage in hosting a virtual memorial or celebration of life (typically days, weeks, or months after the burial or cremation and without the corpse present) is determining whether you’ll live stream the memorial from a location or just conduct a home-style production. You may host it yourself using a Zoom account or similar platform if it’s extremely easy and at home, but be aware that they have restrictions in terms of aesthetic and usefulness. What may be appropriate for a business meeting may not be appropriate for a significant emotional homage to someone unique.
Many of the choices for in-person and virtual funeral services are the same. For example, you must still select an urn or burial site, memorial goods, and anything else linked to your loved one’s final resting place. You’ll also need to think about things like paperwork, transportation, and estate administration, among other things.
Check out this full tutorial on how to live stream a funeral or memorial ceremony for additional information on the technology and practicalities of doing so.
What to Expect as a Visiting Guest at a Virtual Funeral
When someone invites you to virtual funeral services, how should you respond? Here are a few things to keep in mind if you don’t want to be the visitor who ruins an event’s most moving moments:
- Arrive on Time: Even though you won’t need directions or parking, it’s a good idea to schedule your time so that you’re online at least five minutes before the funeral begins. If you run into any technical difficulties, you’ll have plenty of time to troubleshoot. You may need to wait for the host to admit you, depending on the platform, so be patient. Funerals, like marriages, may start a little late.
- Distractions should be avoided: During the virtual funeral services, be present. Close social media accounts and avoid the urge to multitask while working on the computer. Arrive at the funeral as if you were going to be there in person, giving the funeral your entire attention.
- Dress: If the virtual funeral ceremony is participatory, there’s a chance you’ll be captured on video. Make sure you’ve dressed adequately for the occasion. Brush your hair and apply cosmetics to ensure that you seem nice if you are noticed during the service.
- Background: Take note of your surroundings. In the video, what will be visible? It’s critical to tidy up the surrounding environment since a cluttered home might be bothersome to fellow mourners. It doesn’t have to be Pinterest-perfect, but it should appear respectable.
- Mute Yourself: Are you going to be a speaker at the funeral? Keep your voice quiet until it’s your turn to speak. Background sounds that can interfere with other speakers are eliminated while your device is muted. To accommodate folks with poor internet connections, speak properly and slowly while speaking.
Keep an open mind about this innovative manner of honoring a person’s life, whether you’re arranging a virtual funeral or attending as a guest. It’s fantastic that we can utilize technology to bring friends and relatives from all across the world together for a shared cause!