Funeral planning during Coronavirus is so much more difficult than normal due to restrictions on travel and gatherings which make a traditional funeral nearly impossible. But even in calmer times, planning a funeral can be a challenge when you have relatives spread out far and wide. How can you bring everyone together to celebrate the life of your loved one?
Family and friends of course want to pay their respects and find closure in their grief. But even when travel is permitted, it can be a challenge to find affordable flights and coordinate last-minute travel arrangements in time.
While under normal circumstances funeral services IRL are almost always the preferred choice for families, funeral live streaming is a great option to provide accessibility for those who can’t attend in person. Technology makes it easier than ever to connect with loved ones. For many people, their smartphones rarely leave their sides, giving them a modern tool to participate in a funeral or memorial service at a distant location.
Benefits of Funeral Live Streaming
Funeral live streaming has been around for years, but it is only recently that this service is gaining in popularity. Here are just a few of the ways that families benefit from funeral live streaming:
- Regulations: When gatherings and travel are not permitted or possible, as with Coronavirus or COVID-19, live streaming may be the only way to honor your loved one immediately, while planning a future memorial when circumstances will allow.
- Convenience: Family members who are ill or frail might not be able to travel to the service location. Live streaming allows them to participate from the comfort of home.
- Family Gathering: Was the loved one who has died well-known in the community? The family might feel more comfortable keeping a service smaller, but providing a link so that a larger circle of those who want to pay their respects can do so remotely. about having strangers in attendance. Live streaming provides access to the public while maintaining an intimate gathering for close family and friends.
- Distance: When loved ones live across the United States, or even in another country, traveling to a funeral might be too expensive. You can live stream a funeral service to provide access to those who can’t afford the travel costs.
- Short Notice: Sometimes, burial or cremation needs to happen within a day or two because of religious traditions or medical requirements. Live Streaming enables immediate funeral services by eliminating the waiting time for travel arrangements.
- Recording: Not only does a funeral live stream feed provide access for real-time viewing, but the family may appreciate having a recording of the services. This recording will capture the many stories and memories shared during the event.
- Reduce Costs: Hosting a virtual funeral or memorial makes it easy to reduce costs. If your budget is tight, use funeral live streaming as a way to skip the venue fees, catering bills, and travel costs.
If you decide to live stream funeral services, you’ll find it an effective way to create unity among the many friends and family who want to participate in the event. Technology supports the group in finding healing amidst their loss, while connecting people from all parts of the world.
3 Ways to Live Stream a Funeral
As with other aspects of funeral planning, you can customize funeral live streaming based on your preferences or family requests. Is there a certain platform or equipment setup that will accommodate the needs of your loved ones? Here are a few options you might consider for funeral live streaming:
1. Video Sharing
A quick search online can provide detailed step-by-step instructions about how to live stream a funeral service. Here are a few details to address:
- Choose Equipment: You need equipment that can capture the video feed, such as a webcam, DSLR camera, or camcorder. If a high-resolution video is a priority, then you need to consider the quality of equipment used for funeral live streaming. For example, a high-end DSLR camera will likely result in better quality compared to the built-in camera on a smartphone.
- Microphone Placement: The location of the video camera will determine whether an external microphone is required as well. Some cameras and smartphones come with built-in microphones, but the low-quality equipment might pick up background noise in the room. An embedded microphone might be convenient, but the quality of the audio recording will suffer. On the other hand, an external microphone records higher quality audio, allowing you to capture the sound from a different vantage point than the video recording. For example, you can set up the video filming in the back of the room, with a microphone on the podium where the speakers are standing.
- Video Sharing Platform: Live video feeds are simple to use and easy to access for viewers. A variety of platforms can provide a real-time feed and also record the event at the same time: Zoom, Facebook Live, Facetime, Periscope, Google Hangouts, or YouTube Live. These live streaming services provide a reliable connection to share the event across the globe. Select settings based on privacy control, live embedding, social media integration, chat features, and more.
- Recording: Don’t forget to hit the record button when the funeral services begin! Someone should be monitoring the streaming and recording to ensure that everything is working as planned. You might consider setting up a backup recording in case something goes wrong with the technology.
- Communicate with Family: Provide simple instructions so family and friends know where the live stream is happening. Give people a specific time and platform that they can use to view the services. Not only do you need to set up equipment for capturing the services through a video feed, but participants need to use digital tools to view the streaming feed. Attendees can access live streaming services on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or through a smart TV. If needed, you can share an online tutorial to help older generations learn how to use the streaming service.
It is essential to ensure that you have a strong internet connection and sufficient bandwidth to stream the services. Also, check on any time limitations to avoid having the streaming service cut-off in the middle of the event.
2. Professional Services
Your family has enough to worry about on the day of the memorial or funeral service, which is why it is often beneficial to hire professional funeral live streaming services. If you don’t want to invest the time and effort in learning how to live stream a funeral service, then consider investing in local support.
The benefit of hiring professional services is the peace of mind you will have knowing that an experienced technician is on-site to oversee the streaming. You can focus your attention on the event and your loved ones, instead of letting the technology distract you from the most important memories of the day.
Farewelling has partnered with Cadenza, an expert at virtual production for funerals and events across the United States, to be able to host a virtual tribute for your loved one. Or, you can talk to your funeral home for other local recommendations in your area.
3. Funeral Home Services
Many funeral homes have built-in systems to make it simple to live stream funeral services and memorials. If you are holding the event at a funeral home, ask the director about your options for streaming.
Sometimes this funeral service is available for free, but some funeral services charge anywhere from $85 - $300 for streaming and recording services. If you already have the equipment, it is easy to reduce the funeral expenses with a DIY funeral live streaming system.
Even though it might be one more thing to add to your to-do list, don’t underestimate the benefits of funeral live streaming. Whether it’s a funeral service now or a planned-for future memorial gathering, live streaming connects people from around the world, creating an opportunity for group healing and closure after the loss of a loved one.