A live streamed funeral is one that is broadcasted through an online meeting portal, such as Zoom or Google. The benefit of live streaming is that when people cannot be present for a funeral service, they can still acknowledge the deceased, process their grief, and be a part of the service.
When a funeral is live streamed, it can be private or public. If the obituary notice includes a link to the streamed funeral service, it is perfectly acceptable for anyone to use the link to view the service. If you are invited to a private streaming, do not share the link, unless expressly asked to do so by the family.
We encourage you to log in with your full name, or with the name the family will recognize you by, as the attendee list will be shared with the family. For example, if Auntie Bee is how the family knows you, they may not register your presence if you sign in as Elizabeth X.
Sending condolence messages through the chat function, if one is available, does not always get delivered to the family. It is better to visit the website of the funeral home and seek out the online condolence card; messages left with the funeral home are usually automatically forwarded to a specified family member.
If you will not be present for the funeral, you can still send flowers if you wish, to the funeral home or the family directly. Flowers will be included in the background of a live streamed service, whenever possible.
While watching a streamed funeral service, usually no one will see you. However, while it is rare to show the stream attendees, you may be more comfortable in appropriate clothing in case you are included the broadcast.
You do not need to be concerned with muting yourself, this will be done for you. The funeral director in charge of the live streaming will orchestrate the service, and arrange for videos, music and speeches to be broadcast at the correct times, so everyone can hear and take part in an organized way.
Be aware that some families may choose to have the casket open during the service, or a part thereof. A family may have a private streaming for family only during which you can view the deceased in their casket, providing a virtual visitation. In some cases, this is followed by a publicly streamed portion with the casket closed. If you are not comfortable with seeing the deceased, it is perfectly fine to join the service for the public portion of the event only, regardless of what you are invited to.
If you are asked to speak or sing at the streamed service, you may be able to videotape your portion prior to the streaming. This is especially helpful if you are nervous or overcome with grief. Videotaping will allow you to edit or re-record your message or tribute and allows you can watch the funeral service without the distraction of focusing on your upcoming part. If you are asked to participate, be sure to follow the request of the family and know that this event is not about highlighting your talent, rather it’s about acknowledging the deceased.
If you have other questions about how to participate in a live streamed funeral service, how to send your condolences, or what to expect, we encourage you to speak to us. Answers to many common questions can also be found in our FAQs section.