Joining a funeral ceremony online requires more than simply booting up your laptop. Here’s how to prepare yourself emotionally, with five practical tips on how to watch a funeral live stream.
Prepare yourself emotionally
Some of Hannah’s favourite memories of her Nan were the days spent together during the school holidays. Long sunny days in the garden, tending her prized flower beds, feeding the chooks, listening to stories of distant relatives, putting faces to names on the family tree.
Nan always encouraged Hannah to travel and the passion she ignited within her to see more of the world beyond the back gate meant that Hannah was overseas when her Nan passed away. Unable to travel to the ceremony in Sydney, she asked CeremonyCast to provide the funeral live streaming. Along with other family members around the world, she joined online from Christchurch in New Zealand. For Hannah, a previous experience of watching a funeral from afar helped her prepare emotionally.
“The quality of live streaming has progressed so quickly in recent times that it’s become an immersive experience. Seeing and hearing all the details of the ceremony so clearly means you get a real feeling of being there, which in turn is deeply affecting emotionally. That’s definitely a good thing because it helps us navigate our grieving and healing process. But if you’re watching from afar on your own, you need something to help evoke the value of connection and personal support you get from being there in person.”
The power of a funeral ceremony
Understanding and honouring that sense of community is something Picaluna Funeral Director Elizabeth Trevan says is vital.
“It can be easy to underestimate the power of ceremony, however you experience that. It’s important to create a space for yourself both physically and emotionally. By doing so, you’re creating a moment to honour your grief, and when watching a funeral live stream, that’s as significant as being there in person. It’s similar to watching a TV show that moves you in some way, but those feelings are amplified when you’re experiencing a bereavement and it’s such a personal connection.”
Living life online
In a modern world of always-on communication where we’re never far from a screen, it’s become second nature to live much of our lives online. The stories of our lives are told through photos and videos and to most generations it would be strange not to document and preserve those big milestones; birthdays, weddings, anniversaries – and now, funerals. CeremonyCast Owner Stephen Lee has seen at first-hand how attitudes have changed when our online world inevitably intersects with death and dying.
“One of the many side-effects of the pandemic was the forced change in how we were able to say goodbye to someone. Restrictions at funerals meant many people experienced funeral live streaming for the first time. What was born from necessity has quickly evolved into a shift of attitude within society. Joining a ceremony online used to feel strange but now it’s become not just socially acceptable, but also something people now embrace and expect.”
Discretion and respectful filming
That change in attitude has evolved hand-in-hand with a change in the way ceremonies are filmed.
“Live streaming from a single camera showing a wide view of the room has quickly become outdated. People now expect to see and hear both the little details that speak volumes as well as the big moments. It’s become incredibly sophisticated with a professional standard. In fact, it’s like watching a highly-produced program or documentary, while remaining discreet and respectful.
For those of us behind the camera, it means there is much to think about. We’re always careful about the shots we select and the images we choose to show people watching online. We know how powerful they can be and the memories and feelings they can provoke. That consideration for those at the other end of the screen also extends to the weeks and months after the funeral is over. The day of the funeral is a challenging yet necessary milestone of losing someone. However, we also understand that the hardest time comes afterwards; when the calls, messages and visits become less and we are alone with our thoughts. That’s why we provide information about grief on our website to help people navigate those most difficult of days.”
Those lazy summer days came flooding back to Hannah as she watched Nan’s farewell from Christchurch. She lit a special candle to honour that family connection and helped to create an atmosphere in which she could truly connect with all her emotions. Hannah knew the time spent setting the scene was so important.
“I loved everyone’s stories and memories shared in person during the ceremony and afterwards in the online memorial guestbook. Of course I wished I could have been there. But it’s amazing how technology can now bring everyone together. I know that Nan would definitely have approved”.
How to watch a funeral live stream – five tips from CeremonyCast
CeremonyCast has five tips to prepare yourself before joining a funeral or memorial live stream:
- Pick the right place – choose a spot which is quiet, comfortable and where you won’t be disturbed.
- Pick the right time – this should be a time when you can focus fully without worrying about your phone ringing or having to answer emails. Remember you can always watch the live stream afterwards as a recording. CeremonyCast keeps them available for one month after the ceremony.
- Bring a symbol that speaks to you – this could be a photo or a memento, or the simple act of lighting a candle.
- Share a memory and read those from others – every CeremonyCast live stream comes with a online guest book where people watching can leave their own stories and memories.
- Have someone to support you – if you can watch with someone else, or have someone to talk to afterwards, this allows you to process your thoughts and feelings.
Get in touch with us
Can we help you with live streaming for a wedding or funeral? We’re always here to chat.
Other useful links:
- Click here to see all our charity donations to date
- How to look after yourself and others when a funeral is over