A man typing on a laptop.


Written by Matt Frazer


In the last few years or so, online funerals have become more prominent. Celebrities like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson have been memorialized in front of millions over the internet.


Many celebrities’ funerals are broadcast by the wire service, which also offers the feed to other broadcasters to air on television. Because they are celebrities, their fans, followers, and family want to pay their last respects. Obviously, everyone will not be able to attend these events due to location, time constraints, monetary or health issues, and security reasons. Hosting an online funeral makes it possible for anyone wishing to view the service online to be able to do so.


For non-celebrities, funeral webcasting is becoming more popular too. With the war overseas, events like Hurricane Sandy, and financial strains many families are experiencing, it isn’t always possible to attend a funeral in person.


Streaming a funeral online, families gather around a laptop in their living room and watch the live webcast. If the service time conflicts with another event, such as work, the family also can watch the funeral at a time more convenient for them.


There are some hurdles for gaining access to a funeral webcast. First, a password is needed and a website address for the access point must be given to mourners wishing to watch a funeral online.


Although not being physically present, some mourners may feel challenged by having to participate by webcast. Viewing the funeral from home, they may feel distant from the event and may not feel the full effect of the service. For example, most people watching a funeral from home won’t rise when the other mourners do and they may not say prayers aloud with the rest of the bereaved. However, while the emotional attachment may be limited, a funeral webcast is certainly better than not being able to be present at all.


As most rituals change over time, including funeral services, funeral webcasting offers families a way to connect when not previously possible. Will the traditional way of attending a funeral ever completely go away? Probably not; most of these ritualized ceremonies are intimate encounters that revolve around cherished norms. However, the time has come to be more open to change — and as the digital age keeps expanding, new rituals and traditions will emerge.


Funeral software developed specifically for funeral webcasting makes it possible for any funeral home to host a webcast. Isn’t it time you brought this new technology into your funeral home?


Download Tribute Center for free to set up funeral webcasting for your funeral home’s services.