At no time have funeral traditions been upended like they were in 2020. The rites of mourning that help people cope and heal were dramatically changed. As we come out on the other side of the pandemic, funeral services will eventually resemble what we had in the past. However, many funerals won’t be exactly like they once were.
One change that will likely remain is more people will choose to live stream the funeral service for friends and family that can’t physically be present. It’s a technological change that came about out of necessity, but has proven to be beneficial and makes the funeral more inclusive.
Choose a Live Streaming Platform
The first step is deciding what live streaming platform you’re going to use. Today that’s a little more difficult simply because there are so many options. Below is a rundown of three popular live streaming platforms worth considering.
The Zoom video platform offers a lot of features, which is great if you’re familiar with how it works. But if you’ve never used Zoom before it may not be the best option since it can get complicated. Zoom also shows the participants who are watching, and some people may not be comfortable with that. However, others may prefer the community aspect of a Zoom event.
It’s also important to factor in the time limit. Zoom free accounts have a time limit of 40 minutes for video conference calls.
Facebook is a top option because so many people are already on the social media platform, and you can use Facebook to also share information about the live stream. However, in order for the live stream to be private you’ll need to set up a group that viewers will need to join first. Anyone without a Facebook account won’t be able to access the group live stream.
You can create a live stream event by using the Youtube desktop app on a computer that has a webcam. The live stream can be set to public or private. If you make it private you’ll need to send a link to each guest so that they can view the event. This is ideal if many guests don’t have Zoom and don’t use social media.
Share the Live Streaming Event Information
Once you’ve got all of the details figured out (funeral date and time, streaming platform, link to view the event) you’ll need to share the information with others. Since there’s a link involved you’ll need to do one of the following:
- Send an email
- Text guests directly
- Send a virtual invite
- Make a post or event on social media
Some of these options allow you to collect RSVPs so you know how many people plan to watch the live stream.
Choose Someone to be in Charge of Streaming the Service
Someone needs to be in charge of the live streaming from start to finish. The person should:
- Not be part of the immediate family.
- Familiar with live streaming technology.
- Comfortable with overseeing the live streaming during the funeral.
Set Up the Camera
The funeral will be streamed live, but it’s a good idea to set up the camera in advance. That way you can test everything out so you don’t feel pressured on the day of the funeral or end up with poor video quality.
Have the person who will be in charge of live streaming the event help you set up the camera, phone or computer so they know exactly how everything should be done. You can work the camera and audio while the other person views it on the live stream or vice versa. The trial run will help you troubleshoot problems and figure out where the camera needs to be so that viewers can see and hear what’s happening.
Start Streaming and Interacting
By the time the funeral service begins, most of the work has been done to stream it live. The person who is charged with streaming the funeral service live will need to set up the camera like before, open up the live streaming platform and push play when the funeral begins. It should stream seamlessly until the video is stopped.
One of the other benefits of live streaming a funeral service is that the people who aren’t present can still interact with others. You can set up the live stream event to allow viewers to make comments, share photos and tell stories.
With live stream services a person can even participate in the funeral remotely by reading a bible verse, leading the group in prayer or sharing their personal story. With today’s technological capabilities funeral services are no longer limited by location.