Whether to live stream a funeral or not is at the discretion of the deceased’s family. While attending the funeral is the best option for acknowledging the loss and personally delivering condolences, live streaming is a wonderful alternative. Live streaming allows the observation of, or participation in, the funeral service by those who might not otherwise have been able to due to location, work commitments, or other factors.
If the family wants live streaming, we encourage them to consider a funeral home that has experience providing this service. Having streamed over 500 funerals, Country Hills Crematorium has extensive expertise in this area. It’s essential to have a funeral run smoothly, and there are many factors to consider and incorporate, from prayers to music, eulogies to readings. With emotions running high and family members with differing requests, having the skills and experience to make the service flow seamlessly is required.
To begin with, the family needs to decide if the streaming will be public or private. In the case of public streaming, the funeral home will include the link in their website obituary notice and have it included in newspapers notices. If it is private, only the family members will be given the link to the streaming, and the family will be responsible for sharing it with whom they want to provide access. The funeral director can outline the advantages of each option and determine what is suitable for the circumstances.
In many ways, a streamed funeral service proceeds like any service; however, some participants may not be present. Live streaming allows portions of the service to be recorded and played at the correct time, allowing anyone to participate, regardless of their circumstances. It also offers the convenience of editing, re-recording, pausing as needed, and re-arranging to achieve a consistent flow.
The experienced funeral home will be familiar with the technical aspects of live streaming, such as:
- recording and editing portions before the service,
- staging the streaming area for pleasing aesthetics,
- position and test the sound equipment before going live,
- confirming proper lighting for the steaming and those in attendance,
- checking the connections of anyone speaking during the service,
- posting a welcome screen on the link to assure guests they have joined properly,
- ordering enough lines for all guests,
- booking enough time to ensure the streaming does not end abruptly,
- knowing whether to have the streaming arranged as a meeting set-up or a webinar-style, and
- ensuring smooth transitions from live to recorded segments.
In short, whoever produces the live-streamed funeral needs to be technically knowledgeable and ready to troubleshoot any issue to prevent additional stress for the family. They also need to be experienced with proper live streaming etiquette, such as when to close the casket, showing the in-person attendees, and handling any glitches.
In some cases, such as when the family is geographically far apart, having a broadcasted reception following the service can allow family and friends to talk, share stories, and socialize, much like how a funeral reception would work. The funeral director can plan for this and end the official funeral service before this portion of the streaming commences or open it up to allow everyone to speak and share.
Lastly, we offer the deceased’s family a recorded copy of the funeral service. They may wish to share this with friends and family or anyone unable to join the broadcast. They may also want to view it later; having a copy will ensure it’s available when the family wants it.
If you have other questions about live streaming a funeral service, we encourage you to speak to us. Contact us at Country Hills to discuss your options regarding live streaming or other funeral service needs.