Funeral Live Streaming: Everything You Need To Know

As people are opting to live stream major life events like weddings and graduations more, funeral live streaming has also gained popularity in the UK. Due to events like the Covid pandemic which heavily restricted attendance of public events, funeral live streaming has become a convenient and easy way for families and friends to participate in a loved one’s funeral even if they are far away or unable to attend in-person.

Key questions we cover here are:
For those arranging a funeral
  • What is funeral live streaming?
  • What are the advantages of funeral streaming?
  • How can I arrange to live stream a funeral?

For those attending a funeral via Live Stream

  • How do I watch a funeral live stream as I can’t attend the funeral?
  • What etiquette should I follow when attending a funeral live stream?

What is Funeral Live Streaming?

Funeral live streaming is a service that allows you to broadcast a funeral in real time via the internet. Friends and family who cannot physically attend the funeral will receive a link to access the live stream, which they can watch on their computer, tablet or mobile phone. A live stream is different from a recording of the funeral, as the live stream will broadcast in real time. 

The “live” aspect of live streaming allows attendees to truly participate in the funeral service and pay their respects to their loved one as it happens.

What are the advantages of funeral live streaming? 

1.    People who live far away can attend

Nowadays families and friends seem to be scattered around the globe making it difficult for everyone to come together for celebrations or funerals. For immigrants, expats, international students or military families connecting via a live stream may be the only way they can attend the funeral of a loved one. Cost of travel has also become more expensive in recent years, making travelling to pay their respects more difficult.

2.    People who are elderly, disabled or otherwise unable to travel can attend

Physically attending a funeral can be impossible or difficult for some people. Live streaming can be a wonderful way for everyone to attend and feel connected to their community and loved ones. The funeral stream can be watched by people who are elderly, disabled, immuno-compromised, unwell, caring for someone at home, or unable to attend public events due to anxiety, agoraphobia or other forms of anxiety disorders. 

3.    You may be able to have a recording of the service

If the provider offers this as part of their service, you will receive a link to be able to watch the full service again, after the funeral. The days leading up to and after a funeral can be overwhelming and emotional, so you may not feel fully present during the funeral service or even remember the details very well. This is completely normal. You can watch the recording later and look back on your loved one’s beautiful send off. 

4.    Loved ones can attend on short notice

There are times when funerals have to be held at very short notice - sometimes even within 24 hours. Some religions require burial or cremation to be done as soon as possible or it may be necessary due to public health reasons. As many people would not be able to make arrangements to attend the funeral at such short notice, a live stream of the funeral enables them to still be a part of the farewell. 

5.    You can share your grief with loved ones

Funerals are of the utmost significance in all cultures around the world and, although rituals and customs may differ, we all observe funerals together as a community. One of the most important aspects of funerals is that they allow us to share our grief. Studies show that sharing grief with our communities is a healthy way to process losing a loved one. Not being able to physically attend a funeral may make some people feel isolated and alone in their grief. 

As funeral live streaming allows us to share the funeral with more people, it helps attendees share their own grief with an extended support system. 

How to Arrange A Funeral Live Stream

As more people in the UK are choosing to live stream funerals, many funeral directors, crematoriums, churches and funeral venues now offer a streaming service package for an additional fee. There are also companies that specialise in funeral live streaming like Obitus, Funeral Memories & Funeral Live Streaming

If you are arranging a funeral, the cost of funeral live streaming will depend on your needs. A basic add-on package can start from £50 and a high-quality multi-camera stream can go up to £750. It is important to note, none of the people joining the funeral via the Live Stream should pay anything to join. 

Here are some key things to keep in mind when arranging a funeral live stream:

1.    Don’t do it yourself
While mobile phones and social media make live streaming easy, you may not want to undertake this task yourself. We highly recommend keeping the day stress-free and going for a professional streaming service or taking a package offered by the funeral director or venue. 

2.    Hire professionals
Going for a professional funeral streaming service will ensure your loved one’s funeral goes smoothly with minimal technical difficulties, leaving you and your family to focus on saying your goodbyes. 

3.    Check reviews
Always do your research and check the reviews of funeral streaming services in your area before hiring one.

4.    Ask about keepsakes and recordings
Many funeral streaming services offer keepsakes, such as an edited video of the service with music or a personalised video album. Keep in mind that most streaming services will only have the recording available for 30 days after the funeral. 

5.    Make sure everyone knows how to watch
The live stream will be accessible to watch on a computer or mobile phone via a link. The streaming service will provide you with the link, a username and a password to the private live stream to prevent unauthorised persons from accessing it. A few days before the funeral, you can send the attendees these details as well as simple instructions to access the broadcast from their homes. 

6.    Watch out for scammers and fraudulent links
Remember, viewers should never have to pay to watch a funeral live stream. Inform your friends and family about possible scams they might encounter online and remind them to only use the link provided by the streaming service. 

How To Watch A Funeral Live Stream

You may be far away or unable to attend a loved one’s funeral for a number of reasons, but you can still be a part of their funeral service, connect with friends and family, and say goodbye via a funeral live stream. We’ve put together some easy tips for attending a funeral remotely. 

1.    Be prepared
Before the funeral starts make sure your devices are fully charged or plugged in, and that you have internet connection where you want to watch from. You should also test the link to the live stream, and make sure the username and password provided work. 

2.    Follow the dress code
A good rule of thumb to follow would be to attend the live stream like you would attend the funeral in-person. This may mean also following the dress code as a show of respect and courtesy. You wouldn’t wear sweatpants or pyjamas to a funeral in-person, so don’t wear them when attending the funeral live stream. 

3.    Send a condolence message 
Many live streams have a comment section where well-wishers can send a message to the family. You can choose to send a condolence message here or before the funeral. This is a thoughtful way to let the family know you are watching and with them in spirit. If you need some inspiration check out our condolence messages for different occasions blog. 

4.    Send flowers or a donation.
Sending flowers or making a donation to charity is another sweet gesture to show the family that you’re thinking of them, especially if you can’t physically attend the service. They may provide a link to send flowers or a donation with the live stream link. 

Choosing to live stream your loved one’s funeral is a beautiful way to include everyone whose lives they may have touched, regardless of where they live or their ability to physically attend the service. In every culture funerals are the most significant way for communities, friends and family to share their grief, honour and remember their loved ones. Now that it is easier than ever to arrange a live stream of your loved one’s funeral, you can follow this guide to ensure everyone is able to attend and pay their respects - from near or far. 

More support guides you may like:

How to write a condolence message
How can books help through grief?
How to talk about grief: A support guide 
Why funerals are important