Live Stream Funeral Etiquette: Eight Things You Should Know
Live streaming allows mourners to take part in memorial ceremonies at any time, from anywhere.
For a variety of reasons that extend beyond the COVID-19 health crisis, it isn’t always possible to attend a loved one’s funeral or memorial service. Illness, aging, financial challenges, military duty, scheduling conflicts, and more can all interfere with the ability to attend these events in person. When these situations arise, funeral webcasting offers the next best solution. Do you know the proper etiquette for attending a virtual funeral service? Here are eight things to keep in mind during this solemn occasion.
Dress appropriately for the event.
If the virtual funeral service is interactive, there is a possibility that you may be seen on camera so it’s important to be presentable. Your clothing choices can also communicate sympathy to those who are grieving, so show your respect by dressing in an appropriate manner. Even if you are simply viewing the service online and there is no interactivity, donning appropriate clothing can set the proper tone and help you feel more involved in the event.
Consider your background.
If the virtual event is being conducted over Zoom or another interactive platform, make sure your surroundings are in order. A messy, chaotic background can be distracting to other funeral guests.
Plan to arrive early.
Even though you don’t need to worry about directions or parking, it’s wise to plan your schedule so you are online at least five minutes before the live stream funeral starts. That allows you time to get situated, remove any distractions, and resolve any technical issues you may encounter.
Depending on the platform being used, you may need to wait for the host to admit you. And like weddings, sometimes funerals start a bit late.
Share your sympathies before the service begins.
Although you are participating in a virtual funeral event, you can and should offer your condolences. This is not the time to catch up with other guests, so keep your comments brief and appropriate. Typing condolences, sharing stories, and commenting on other messages can be distracting to other guests, so add your comments before the funeral starts.
Be thoughtful with your comments.
When remarks are limited to the written word, misunderstandings can occur. Avoid sarcasm, jokes, quips, or other statement that may be misconstrued. Traditional expressions of sympathy such as, "I'm so sorry for your loss" or "Our thoughts and prayers are with you" are appropriate ways to offer condolences in an online environment.
Keep your device muted.
Are you a scheduled speaker for the funeral? Remain on mute until it is your time to talk. Keeping your device muted eliminates distracting background noises that may interfere with other speakers. When you are talking, speak clearly and deliberately to accommodate slower internet connections.
Remember that grief doesn’t end with the funeral.
Check in with the bereaved from time to time by calling or connecting over Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. Sending emails or cards in the weeks following the funeral service is another caring gesture that your grieving friends will appreciate. Condolence gifts such as food baskets or meal deliveries can also convey your continued support and sympathy.
The most important way to pay your respects is to simply be present.
While it may not be feasible to physically attend the funeral service for a departed friend or family member, missing the opportunity to share a final goodbye can be especially heartbreaking. Using state-of-the art secure software, digitally streamed funerals and memorial services allow for live or delayed viewing online from anywhere.
The compassionate professionals at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services are here to guide you and your family through every aspect of our live stream funeral process. If you have questions or require funeral arrangements, please reach out to us anytime. It is always our privilege to serve you.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.