A man with his arm around a woman's shoulder


Written by Matt Frazer


Funeral webcasting provides a much-needed connection between mourners at a distance and the funeral service, but software developers might be gearing up to give you an even more personal connection. Many funeral homes now offer a webcast of your loved one’s funeral service, making it possible for people at a distance who would otherwise be unable to attend to see and hear everything as it takes place.


Today’s funeral webcasting makes it possible for anyone who has access to the internet to virtually “attend” a funeral. Strategically-placed cameras in the funeral home transmit the entire service to a computer, where software transmits it to a server online. Anyone you invite can watch the funeral as it takes place, much like watching a video on YouTube, except that it’s live. This is tremendously helpful to people who would otherwise miss the funeral, but they’re still excluded from one important facet of being there in person: they can’t participate in the service.


Ideas for the future development of funeral webcasting include incorporating recorded video messages from those who can’t attend the service. Distant attendees could record video messages for a funeral director to incorporate into the proceedings if they can’t be a part of the funeral in real time. This would make it possible for those at a distance to be seen and heard and allow full participation of everyone.


Imagine being able to deliver the eulogy at a funeral service that’s taking place 1,000 miles away from you. You turn on your computer, make sure your webcam is operating properly and, when the time comes, you stand up and speak, just as if you were there in person. Or you offer your condolences before the service begins, speaking with the family and friends you want to comfort.


Because high-speed internet service is now common and affordable and smartphones are everywhere, funeral homes might even begin offering webcasts of visitation hours, as well. You might someday be able to visit virtually with those who are grieving, offering your support much the way you would in person.


For anyone who has ever longed to share their feelings when they just couldn’t be present, such a service would have a tremendous impact. And those who are at the funeral home would be able to talk with you, sharing their own feelings and thoughts. The only thing you won’t be able to do is offer a warm embrace.


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