Whether you are pre-planning your own funeral or making final arrangements for a loved one, you may be overwhelmed by the number of different decisions you need to make. Thanks to the Internet, there is now another funeral option to consider: whether you want the funeral broadcast online.
Funeral homes and other companies are offering to broadcast funerals online. Often referred to as funeral webcasts, this new option in funeral planning allows family and friends to attend the memorial service even if they are thousands of miles away. The funeral home may also offer family members the option to make a video tribute to the deceased and receive a recorded copy of the funeral service to keep.
Disadvantages of Funeral Webcasts
There are a few disadvantages of online funerals. While the cost of a funeral webcast is typically not that high, it is an additional cost. If there is a limited amount of money available to cover funeral and burial expenses, you may need to pass on this added service.
Online funerals also pose potential privacy concerns. If you decide to have a funeral webcast, ask the funeral home director for information on how the privacy of your family will be protected.
Finally, offering an online funeral may lead to some family and friends not making an effort to attend the funeral when they otherwise would. Having loved ones come together at a memorial service to comfort one another during a time of mourning is important for a variety of reasons. Offering a funeral webcast can result in fewer people attending the service, which may be detrimental to the family.
If you are responsible for planning a memorial or funeral service, it can be an overwhelming task. Use a funeral planning book to go step by step through the process. See our Funeral Planning Books page for a list. There are several guides that include checklists for planning a memorial or funeral service as well as time saving resources that will point you in the right direction during a difficult time.
Is a Funeral Webcast the Right Choice?
While there are many potential advantages of funeral webcasts, not everyone is comfortable with this technological advancement. Younger generations that have grown up with computers and cell phones may think watching a funeral online is completely natural. But those who can remember life before the Internet are more likely to question whether it is appropriate to broadcast such a personal event over the Internet.
If you are planning your funeral in advance and do not want your memorial service recorded or broadcast online, leave instructions to your survivors in a last wishes planner. Without these types of last wishes instructions, your loved ones may be unaware of your objections to an online funeral.
If you are making final arrangements for someone else, consider carefully how he or she would have felt about an online funeral. A funeral is an important part of the grieving process for surviving loved ones, but it is also meant to honor the deceased. This includes respecting the decedent's last wishes.
Whether a funeral webcast is the right choice will depend on the unique circumstances involved. For example, if there are some family members that cannot travel to the funeral home for any reason, you may need to pay for a funeral webcast so they can participate. However, if all family members and friends plan to attend, a funeral webcast may not be necessary.
The decedent's memorial preferences should also be a factor in determining whether to have a funeral webcast. If he or she was an intensely private person, it may be best to refrain from choosing an online funeral, even if some family members want to view the service online. Conversely, if the deceased likely would have had no objection to having the funeral service recorded, it may be a good idea to pay for a funeral webcast.
Advantages of Funeral Webcasts
The primary advantage of funeral webcasts is they allow people to participate in memorial services when they otherwise could not, due to issues such as distance, cost or illness. Today, it is more likely than ever that some family members or friends cannot make arrangements to attend the funeral because they are too far away. Travel expenses are a significant barrier to attending funerals, as well as time off work. Illness and disability are other reasons some individuals might otherwise be excluded from attending a funeral, absent the availability of a funeral webcast.
To Learn More About Funeral Webcasts
Funeral webcasts are a relatively new option in planning a funeral. Therefore, it may be difficult to find a provider that offers funeral webcasts in your area. A good starting point is to read some articles about the typical funeral webcast so you can explain what you want to your funeral home or mortuary.The next step is to contact the funeral home where you plan to make final arrangements and ask if they offer funeral webcasts. If they do not, you still may be able to locate a provider in your area that offers this service as an independent company, such as a videographer. Before selecting a provider for your funeral webcast, be sure to discuss any music you plan to have played during the service. Due to music copyright laws, you will want to be sure the provider has everything in order before the service is made available on the Internet.