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6 Unique Ideas for Funerals During Shelter in Place

Livestream the funeral

An alternative to having a traditional funeral is to livestream the funeral so that friends and family can still attend without being physically present. Livestreaming is generally quite easy to set up and most of the times only requires a laptop and webcam. Facebook Live lets you stream off of your mobile phone, if you’re unable to access a laptop and webcam.

Livestreaming lets guests attend the proceedings virtually where they can watch a live broadcast of the service as it’s being held. This is a good idea if you’d planned on having a larger funeral or know of many friends and family that would’ve liked to attend. If you have an Ever Loved website, you can embed your livestream directly on your events page so that friends and family can watch without leaving our website. If you’re interested in setting up a livestream on your Ever Loved page, please check out our article and our guide for more information.

Ask friends & family to submit memories and photos online

On Ever Loved, you can share photos, condolences, videos, and memories on someone’s memorial website. If you let people know that you’d like to collect some kind words and photos in lieu of holding a public service, they’ll be able to on your memorial website.

We’ve often seen family members that are housebound or who are unable to attend funerals thankful that they can share in remembering a loved one. We also see many people share photos that the family hadn’t seen previously, which they’re often appreciative of. Encouraging people to share their memories is a great way to stay connected and to help others feel connected in the absence of a traditional service.

Hold a virtual funeral through Facetime or video chat and a FaceBook group

In a similar vein to livestreaming, it might be a good idea to host a virtual funeral service. If those who were attending are small in number, you can utilize platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom to host multiple people connected on video at the same time. This will allow a small number of people to “attend” the funeral through the camera of someone who is physically there.

Holding a virtual funeral also gives those who are attending a chance to say a few words during the funeral. It might be a good idea to schedule who will speak and when beforehand so that things don’t get chaotic on the call. We also recommend asking those who are attending to mute their mics during the event, unless there’s a set time for an open discussion or a period where you’d like everyone to be able to talk.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in holding a private service, you can host a public video chat afterwards where a broader audience can join to share their stories and condolences, give a toast, or just be a part of the community in remembering the person who passed away.

Make a video montage of memories

Ask your friends and family to submit a short video recording of them speaking about the person who passed away, the impact they had on their lives, their favorite memories, or a short story. Collect these videos and put them together using a video editing program (such as iMovie, Blender, or any other software you can find). You can play this video at the service itself, but you can also share this video with your friends and family so that they can feel involved in a project that is honoring a loved one.

Ask everyone to have a private ceremony in their own home at a set time

Create an event on Ever Loved or on Facebook and ask that all attendees observe a short period of mourning or silence at a given time. This will allow people who can’t attend or participate in the funeral to feel included and connected to the family during such a difficult time. This is a way to give people a sense of community while also maintaining a sense of privacy for those involved. You can simply ask that people attending the event observe a short period of silence, or ask that they say something in the privacy of their home during the event.

Drive through processional

Consider driving through the deceased’s neighborhood during the funeral procession. Suggest that neighbors stand in their windows or front yards, respecting social distancing requirements. While the procession goes by, have them hold up signs, wave, or pay their respects collectively. Connect with your funeral home to see if it’d be possible for the procession to be a bit slower than usual so that people can properly take part.

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Last updated April 6, 2020
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