How to Plan a Virtual Funeral

When a loved one dies, it is always hard to cope with the grief and sense of loss. If you are unable to attend a funeral in person due to distance or other circumstances, you can still hold a virtual funeral to honour your loved one. Here are some tips on how to plan a virtual funeral.

What is a virtual funeral?

A virtual funeral is a modern way to say goodbye to a loved one. Rather than gathering everyone in one place, the funeral takes place in a digital setting, allowing anyone to attend, no matter where they are in the world. If the person who has passed away had a lot of friends in different locations, a virtual funeral is an ideal choice to ensure everyone has an opportunity to say goodbye.

What happens during a virtual funeral?

The format will be the same as a conventional funeral. The only difference is that the funeral will be live-streamed rather than having everyone in attendance. To make this happen, you will need video and audio equipment, a device that enables streaming, and someone to operate the equipment. It’s a nice idea to have someone who is not as emotionally connected to the deceased manage this process, as it will be a less distressing day for them.

During a virtual funeral, you will have eulogies, music and tributes to your loved one. You might invite people to join the live stream and share their feelings and precious memories. There are no fixed rules about what needs to be included in a virtual funeral, however, it’s a good idea to have an order of service so you can let attendees know what to expect.

How to plan a virtual funeral

Planning a virtual funeral is a lot like planning a regular funeral. In fact, many people choose to have a hybrid funeral, so attendees can choose if they want to be there in person or if they would like to attend remotely. This will ensure everyone who would like to say goodbye will have an opportunity to do so. 

With a virtual funeral, the only difference is the addition of technology to make it possible to live stream the event to anyone in the world. You might also need the option to let individuals join the live stream to say a few words. So, while this might be a technical challenge, it is certainly worthwhile if you want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to say goodbye.

Step one: Choose the right platform

There are many options available, so do your research to find one that will work best for your needs. Choosing the right platform for your needs can feel like a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The best thing you can do is take the time to research different platforms and think about what you really need from them. 

Consider the features of each option, think about how user-friendly they are, and consider if the pricing makes sense for what you're trying to do. It might take some extra time upfront, but not doing thorough research could lead to a platform that just isn't quite right for you in the long run – so don't rush into your decision! You could live stream for free on a site like YouTube, or you could pay for a funeral-specific service.


Step two: Create a guest list

Make sure to include everyone who you want to be involved in the funeral. Planning a funeral can be an exhausting and often overwhelming process. From making sure to include all the appropriate details to compiling a complete guest list, there are many important things to remember. 

When creating a guest list for the memorial service, it is important to include not only those closest to the deceased but any other individuals who may have played an important role in their life. It is also essential to make sure that each person who you wish to be present is included so that they can pay their respects and celebrate the life of your loved one. 

Every person who meant something special should be accounted for on this special day as they honour and remember someone dear. The good news is that attendees will have the option to attend in person or virtually, so things like mobility and distance will no longer be a problem. If the person you have invited struggles with technology, you might need to provide clear instructions for how to access the live stream.

Step three: Send out invitations

Let people know how they can join the virtual funeral service. You’ll need to explain that they have the option to attend in person or online, so the invitation might be longer than usual. You might also include details of how they can join the live stream. An example of how to phrase this invitation would be:

“As we mourn the loss of our beloved [person], we would like to extend an invitation to all those who wish to pay their respects. [Person], in his life, touched so many lives and brought so much joy. The funeral service will be held virtually to enable as many people as possible to attend this event. We know that [person] touched so many people in their life, and not everyone would be able to travel to pay their respects. We invite everyone to participate in a sorrowful farewell as we remember and honour this remarkable person who will forever live in our hearts. Please contact us for further details about joining in the service, as it would bring us great comfort to have all those close to him celebrate his life with us.”

You will need individuals to RSVP to confirm if they are attending the in-person service or if they will be attending virtually. This will help you to plan things like catering for the day.

Step four: Plan the service

Whether online or in-person, the funeral will follow a similar format. You will need to decide what kind of music, readings, and other elements you want to include. When it comes to planning the service for a loved one, it can be incredibly difficult and overwhelming. Be sure to take your time to consider what music, readings, and other elements you want to be included in the service so that you can create a meaningful ceremony that honours the life of your loved one. 

Putting thought into this will help ensure that your departed family member or friend is remembered in a special way. Remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to planning a memorial service-- the most important thing is that you include elements with which you feel comfortable. 

It's only natural to have moments of sadness throughout the process but try to keep in mind that your efforts are helping to give closure during this difficult time. Ask for help planning if you need it, as people will be more than willing to help you during this difficult time.

Step five: Have a backup plan

There is always the risk that something could go wrong during a big event like a funeral, but adding technology into the mix can make things more likely to go awry. You need to have a plan in place in case something goes wrong with the technology or connection.

We all rely on technology - computers, the internet, and other devices - to get us through our day-to-day lives. Consequently, when something unexpectedly goes wrong with the technology or connection, it can be incredibly frustrating and disruptive. 

To ensure that these avoidable issues don't derail or delay the event, it's important to have a backup plan. Make sure you have access to at least one other device so that if something happens to the one you were using, you will still be able to proceed with your work as normal and in a timely manner.

You should also have backup equipment and ensure that everything is charged (or you have access to chargers) to ensure nothing goes wrong.

Closing thoughts

Losing a loved one is never easy, but virtual funerals can help to make the process a little bit easier. A virtual funeral removes the need for travel, which can make the funeral more accessible to those who might not want to travel for health or financial reasons. 

If you have difficult family dynamics, you can also ensure that people who don’t get along don’t have to spend any time together. This will ensure everyone who wants the opportunity to say goodbye can do so.

In conclusion, there are many reasons to consider a virtual funeral. You can also record it and add the recording to a memorial website so you can keep the memories alive forever. By following these tips, you can be sure that your virtual funeral will be a beautiful and fitting tribute to your loved one.