Among the many things that have changed in our lives over the past year, COVID-19 has disrupted the funeral and memorial process. But, some of those changes have been good and many will be with us to stay. The rise of virtual funerals and memorials has allowed more people to gather together online to celebrate the life and times of those who have passed on.
“Covid has stolen our ability to be together to honour our loved ones, and this virtual memorial was so comforting,” Dawn Cardi wrote in an online review of Virtual Memorial Gatherings.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I almost prefer this to an in-person memorial because it allowed people from all over, and people that for health reasons cannot travel to participate in honouring a loved one,” Vanessa C Kinzer wrote in her online review.
“Although a virtual memorial service wasn’t what I would have chosen, I can now say unequivocally that I would never want a service for a loved one any other way,” Michelle Mulligan wrote about her experience. “We were able to connect family and friends from near and far in a very intimate and well-designed program. Dozens of folks have reached out to me post service and said it was the most amazing and gorgeous service they have ever attended!”
Working out the details of a funeral or memorial service can feel overwhelming when you are grieving. At Virtual Memorial Gatherings, we will guide you through every step of the process, from planning the structure of the virtual funeral service to setting up a live stream.
How Virtual Funerals Work
Virtual services look a little different than traditional funerals and memorials. There are four types of virtual services that can be produced:
- Virtual funeral or memorial gathering – All attendees participate from their own location, like their home.
- Hybrid funeral or memorial gathering – A group of attendees are gathered in a physical location like a church or funeral home. Other speakers and guests can join and speak during the event virtually from a different locations.
- Live stream funeral or memorial gathering – The program will be broadcast from one location, and guests tune in online to watch and listen.
- On-demand video – A service is pre-recorded, and a video is made available online for family and friends to watch at their convenience.
All of these services can be personalized to fit your preferences and desires. For example, if you’d like to have a slideshow of photos included in the service, we are able to put it together for you.
During the planning process, we work with you to create a memorial page for your loved one. This page allows others to RSVP their attendance to the event. On the memorial page, people can also sign the digital guestbook with their comments and memories.
To ensure things run smoothly, we do a pre-event rehearsal service. During this trial run, we aim to make sure that you and any speakers involved in the service are comfortable with the platform and format.
“We were able to have speakers from overseas and across the country, and all of the video and audio feeds were crystal clear. Highly recommended,” Tanya Kern wrote about her family’s event.
All of our services are recorded, and you’ll be given a digital copy that you can share with those who could not make it to the live event. We can also upload the video to a web page to be available to anyone who wants to see it.
Benefits of Virtual Funeral Service
As with many industries, COVID has changed the rules for funerals and memorials. Restrictions have paved the way for an innovative approach. Some of the benefits that you’ll experience with a virtual memorial or funeral service include:
- All-inclusive access. Previously, many family members or friends could not travel to the location of a funeral or memorial to say their goodbyes. Virtual funeral services have broken down that barrier with all-inclusive access to the event. Bringing families and friends together during this time is essential to help with the mourning process. Carina Chocano said that was one of the best aspects of the service for her mother. It “was attended by more than 250 people in 13 countries. Our speakers Zoomed in from five different time zones, in two languages, and everything went off without a hitch.”
- Digital video copy. We record your virtual funeral or memorial service and give you a video copy that you can keep. Having this record of such a significant event can be a comfort for you and your family. It is also something that you can share with those who would have liked to attend the live service but were not able. Having a video copy can also help the next generation stay connected to their family history. Young children who may not understand what has been lost or who may not remember your loved one clearly will appreciate the opportunity to watch the service when they are older.
- Ongoing support. At Virtual Memorial Gatherings, we walk you through the entire process. We can help you plan a special celebration, including a video slideshow, plan for speakers and attendee participation, and also be on-hand for any technical questions or concerns. “They walked us through the process step by step and made sure we were comfortable with every detail. Their process provides all the foundational and technological support while allowing it to be very personal. The service was beautiful,” Connie Sanchez wrote online.
At Virtual Memorial Gatherings, we want to help you honour your loved ones. If you’re curious about what a virtual service looks like, watch our video about that here.
If you’re ready to start planning a virtual funeral or memorial service for your loved one, we’d love to help.
We’re here to help.
We’ll guide you through the options.
We’ll answer your questions.
We’ll make suggestions based on your expectations.
We’ll never pressure you. Be comfortable in the decisions you make.