At the height of the COVID pandemic, many countries limited the number of in-person funeral service attendees.  As a result, new ways of saying goodbye started emerging.

One such way is through video funerals. Clearly, by allowing mourners to say their final goodbyes from anywhere in the world, this technology is helping keep families together during a difficult time. 

Key points

  • Live streaming is the ultra-modern memorial service alternative.
  • New ways to offer condolences in the age of social distancing are emerging.
Blog how to live stream a private funeral

What is a private service in the face of COVID?

Funeral directors throughout Australia and America are rapidly adapting their services to offer live streaming. Consequently, there has been a rapid uptake in families live streaming their private funeral service because the don’t want anyone to miss out on saying goodbye.

Live streaming is easy

If you’ve opted for a private burial or cremation, extended family and friends don’t have to miss out. Simply live stream the service using a smartphone (or tablet). Here is what to do.

  • Choose your video recording device
    To keep it simple and cost-effective, use a smartphone or tablet.
  • Decide which streaming platform is best for you
    YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Periscope are three of many free streaming platforms. Those new to live streaming should watch ‘how to’ videos to avoid disappointment on the day.
  • Send out invitations to attend the virtual funeral service on socials
    Notify all of the date, time, and platform on which to watch the funeral service. Equally important is sending the notifications by post, text message and email because not everyone uses the same social media apps. Also, don’t forget to include the live stream URL link.
YouTube – How to live stream using your phone
Facebook – How to live stream 

Film the service or eulogy readings
Some families choose to broadcast the keynote eulogies rather than video the entire private service. Similarly, others hire a professional videographer to capture and stream the funeral service from start to finish. But for those DIY-ing:

  • Nominate one person to be the videographer
  • Check camera settings before filming
  • Ensure the live streaming platform is ready
  • Use a tripod if possible
  • Stand close enough for the phone/tablet microphone to hear
  • Avoid zooming
  • Move the camera slowly (to avoid jerky or blurred movement)

Save your funeral service video

Be sure to save the funeral service video to a USB drive, external hard drive or Cloud storage. That way, a master copy is always onhand if you need to upload it again. Sometimes, Facebook and YouTube delete video content without notice. In most cases, Copyright infringement is the reason. So, make sure the background music or photographs shown during live streaming are copyright free.

Is it time to say goodbye to the traditional funeral?

There is no question COVID is changing age-old traditions, customs and social norms. So ist it time to say goodbye to traditional funerals?

Many families are now choosing to live stream their loved one’s funeral service as a way to connect with friends and family who can’t attend in person. Live streaming offers mourners the ability to feel like they’re part of the service, no matter where they live.

Tips for non-contact condolences
  • Place your hand to your heart and smile sympathetically.
  • Give comforting eye contact and say ‘My condolences.’
  • Press your palms together (as if prayer) and nod in sympathy.