Grand Rapids:

How to Plan a Virtual Funeral

Saying goodbye to a loved one is difficult. COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed due to the virus have complicated this process. When you are faced with the many decisions and responsibilities surrounding funeral planning, it can be overwhelming.

Technology is playing a role in ensuring that everyone can gather to honor loved ones, albeit virtually. Whether your family members cannot attend due to occupancy restrictions or the inability to travel, virtual funerals are providing a safe alternative to the traditional funeral service.

What is a Virtual Funeral?

A virtual funeral is live-streamed for attendees to participate or view the service from their locations. The celebration of life conducted online can offer family’s a way to memorialize their loved ones in real-time and from the safety of their own home. Just like in a traditional in-person you will include all the portions of the service that you find appropriate to honor your loved one including the eulogy, speeches, special readings, and slide shows.

Depending on the platform, those attending virtually can participate. Virtual funerals allow you to socially distance, accommodate those living far away, and avoid the costs of an in-person event.

Planning a Virtual Funeral

Start by choosing a funeral home that is capable of live streaming the funeral. If they do not offer the service, ask if they will allow a company like Salvi Media to come in and provide the service instead. You may decide to choose another venue or host the funeral from your home. It is all up to you and your family. There are a few options for live streaming a funeral:

• Live Feed

• You can live feed a funeral in real-time on Zoom, Facebook Live, Facetime, and other platforms.

• Hire a virtual funeral service like Salvi Media and let them handle the details for you. They can provide an on-site professional to handle the streaming.

• Your funeral home may offer virtual funerals and the live stream that they require. Find out about the requirements, options, and costs from your funeral home.

Remember the Details

• Equipment: Make sure you have a webcam, DSLR camera, or camcorder. You may opt to use a separate microphone to ensure that the audio recording is acceptable. Make sure that your internet connection is strong enough to stream the services without interruptions or lags.

Notifications: Send out instructions that are easy to follow to let family and friends know how to attend the virtual funeral. Give them enough time to plan to attend, advise them if you would like them to dress a certain way, and ask them to remind muted unless they will be speaking. Use social media, e-mail, and text messages to get the link out. Virtual funerals come with an assortment of benefits. It is up to you to decide whether an in-person or virtual funeral is right for you. If you need to plan a funeral during our current COVID-19 crisis, please call Gerst Funeral Homes today.