29 Apr Can Funeral Streaming Help in A Difficult Time?
During Covid-19, one of the biggest challenges has been our limited contact with those we love. This is most challenging when we cannot see people in times of crisis. This has meant when someone is ill in hospital, or when wishing to commemorate the life of someone we have recently lost.
Funerals are an example of these challenges. Not being able to attend ceremonies is an especially hard aspect of the pandemic. Funeral directors are looking to find creative ways to help with mourning. This needs to be dealt with sensitively and practically, but what is the current situation?
Funerals and Covid: What is the current situation?
During the pandemic, attendance numbers have been limited for funerals and the maximum number of attendees is now just thirty people. In March last year, Public Health England advised attendance should only be from members of the deceased person’s household or close relatives, so things are improving but it still means that wider family and friends may be unable to attend.
Commemorative events are even lower in numbers at fifteen attendees. This means things like the scattering of ashes or placement of memorial stones. Other requirements are in place such as social distancing and the use of facial coverings. When planning all kinds of funerals and commemorative events, it is important to consider the best ways to do this.
How Webcast Funerals Can Really Help
Before 2020, using tools like Skype usually meant we were in work meetings, and when used socially, it was much more likely that video chat would be the preserve of the young. This has all changed over the last year. Now, video is often used for staying in touch with loved ones, and even at the start of the pandemic it was reported that Zoom was already being used to host virtual classrooms and church services, so now virtual versions of events are very much part of our lives.
With the ongoing challenges around burial events and people being unable to attend, online, live streamed funerals are growing in popularity. While they cannot replace actual attendance, during this especially difficult time, virtual funerals are a wonderful way to ensure that everyone who knew the person can mourn the loss at the same time as the group of thirty mourners and experience the event even though they cannot attend.
This is a good way to help give people closure, but it’s important to understand how it will work. There are lots of online examples of what the live cast ceremony looks like, so it’s worth viewing these if you are considering including a video streaming aspect to a ceremony you are planning, or if you need to prepare for a live cast burial event you are attending and would like to know what to expect. When watching online ceremonies by companies like Wesley Media or Orbitas, you instantly get a sense of place and it feels quite like being at an actual event, with high quality audio helping the kind words spoken on the day resonate with you as a viewer.
Arranging a Virtual Memorial Service
When organising an online version of a funeral it’s important to ask questions to friends and family. This helps establish if they actually want this kind of ceremony to happen. These streamed ceremonies are of course a wonderful option for helping people to grieve during the strange pandemic era. However, it’s still important to explain everything. This might include what the day will look like, how they will log-on and what to expect.
Once you have answered all these questions and everyone is happy, it’s time to plan the actual logistics. This is not just the running order but how the technology will be set up too. Unlike the stereotype of an unstable video call, the platform will be stable and easy to view on a computer. This can also be linked to a larger monitor or TV, so households can sit together throughout the event. This is something which will of course be of great comfort to all.
What Else is Good About Live Streaming?
As well as being able to watch as a group, live streaming has other benefits.
There will always be people who could not attend even without the pandemic’s existence. This might be down to disability, long distances, or being unable to get enough time off work to travel if not an immediate relative.
With the online portal, people can still experience a sense of attendance and do so in a comfortable setting. Watching from their own homes, people may feel more relaxed about opening up emotionally. They will also have private time for contemplation during and after the service.
By becoming comfortable with video communications software for the service, people will be able to converse later in the day. Speaking remotely with family and friends, sharing cherished memories and offering condolences can all be done online. Despite the physical distance, this gives a real sense of togetherness.
Mourners who cannot attend in person may also wish to arrange photos of the departed in their home. By providing these and arranging food for other people in the household there is a feeling of being at the funeral reception too. This completes the day and helps to make the process easier emotionally for all involved.
How do I Find Out More?
If you are helping to arrange a funeral or similar event, it’s important to have all the information beforehand. One good step before planning the burial or memorial service is to contact a number of local venues. This will help you to discover who is able to accommodate a virtual event. Funeral Map is a great tool for doing this, a website where you can search for funeral providers across the UK and get in touch with a wide range of providers easily.
As mentioned before, two of the most popular providers are Wesley Media or Orbitas who can show you an example and give you all the information you require. Also, searching online for live streamed ceremonies locally can bring up great resources from companies who can help like Simple Cremations Hull, who cover a wide area and have articles to help, or by getting in touch with HL Marks in Birmingham who are very experienced. Whatever you choose to do, ensure you involve the whole family. This way, you can plan a day which is helpful for everyone during a challenging time.