The idea of online or remote funerals may seem unusual or scary. After all, we are used to a traditional funeral service which takes place in a crematorium or church, with the coffin present. However, funeral services can actually take place anywhere and funerals are so much more than just the burial or cremation. They are a chance to remember, perhaps to celebrate the life of the person who has died, to gather together the community of those who knew and loved that person to support each other and, most importantly, to say goodbye. It is not necessary to have the coffin present, or to be in the same location in which the burial or cremation is taking place to have a funeral service which still answers those needs, those other reasons for why we have funerals.
Funerals are an important part of the grief journey, so even if you are planning to have a Memorial or Celebration of Life service at a later date, you may well find that you still need to have some sort of ceremony close to the point in time when your loved one dies. With traditional funeral venues restricting numbers and some closing altogether, here’s how I can help you even if you are not able to have a traditional funeral and need to consider a remote funeral.
As a qualified Funeral Celebrant, I am now able to provide funeral ceremonies online via a meetings application, to allow you and your family and friends to share a service together even when you are not able to be in the same geographical location.
The service can include many of the elements of a more traditional funeral service – music, readings, a photo slideshow, and personal tributes. There’s also an opportunity to bring in elements that might be more challenging to include at a venue like a church or crematorium. For example, you might like to include a toast to the memory of the person who has died.
I will work with you in the same way as I would if we were working on a face-to-face funeral. I will spend time talking to you (either on the telephone or on a video call) about the person who has died, and about what you would like to include in the funeral service. We will then create a ceremony together and agree a date and time for it to take place. I’ll send you an invitation to a secure meeting which you can send to your family and friends to ask them to join you for the funeral service. People can sign in either online, via a video call, or for those who are less confident with technology there is the option to simply call in to listen on a normal telephone. After the service has finished, I will leave you and your family in the meeting so that you can continue to talk, share memories and catch up with each other as you would normally do at the wake after the service.
Act of Remembrance Ceremonies
If the thought of online or remote funerals is scary or simply ‘too big’ for you, then I can help you by creating an Act of Remembrance. This will be a simpler ceremony to remember and to say goodbye, a ceremony that you can carry out at home. You may also like to share this ceremony with other friends and family, so that they can carry out the same Act of Remembrance at the same time as you are.
Creating a personal and unique goodbye
Remote funerals, whether these are full online funeral services or more simple remembrance ceremonies, can really be made special and personal because they’re not subject to the conventions and time constraints that limit options in venues such as crematoriums. Working together, we have the opportunity to create a very personal and unique way to say goodbye, a service which really can be tailored to your wishes.
Memorial or Celebration of Life Services
If have worked with you to provide a small scale face to face funeral, an online funeral or an Act of Remembrance ceremony at the time of need, I am also very happy to officiate for you at a later Memorial or Celebration of Life service. You may wish to include the scattering or burial of ashes in this service, which can be scheduled to take place once social distancing measuring have been relaxed, to allow you to gather everyone physically together to remember the person who has died.
How I can help
If you would like to discuss how I can help you with a remote funeral, online service or simple Act of Remembrance ceremony, please contact me either by email or telephone.