Virtual Memorial Ceremonies
First Anniversaries are Tough
The first anniversary of your loved one’s death is a day of very mixed emotions. Your feelings of grief and sadness are likely to be intensified, however you may also feel nostalgia and happiness as you think of fond memories of your loved one.
This may be a perfect day to honour the life they lived and to reflect on the person they were. Sharing these memories with family and friends can provide great comfort, on what can be, a difficult day.
Consider using an online ceremony to mark this day so that you can gather around you the love and support of family and friends.
The New Era of Virtual Funerals
Organising a funeral is not something many of us have to do often, so when the time does come, it can feel a little overwhelming. Planning a memorial service, the right way, can ensure it is a unique personalized tribute.
There are many reasons why people choose to have a Memorial Service instead of a Funeral. Online ceremonies cannot replace the face to face connection we often yearn for when someone we love dies. However, while the Covid-19 and travel restrictions are in place, this style of ceremony does allow us a means to connect and engage with family and friends, locally or overseas, in a meaningful way to share stories, laughter and tears together and to say farewell.
If someone you love has died during the coronavirus pandemic, you have come to grief in an exceptionally challenging moment in history. You may have been separated from your loved one as they were dying. You may have been unable to view or spend time with the body after the death. You may be prevented from having the full funeral you wanted because of gathering and travel restrictions. And people who care about you may not have been able to be near you to support you in your grief.
In the event that you and your family cannot gather together to attend a funeral, we want to reassure you that there are still ways to celebrate a life lived and say goodbye to a loved one without the need to bring people together physically in one place.
Pre planning your memorial ceremony is essential to ensure that the event flows smoothly and that presenters will be aware of when they are due to participate.
Planning a Memorial Service Using Zoom
Like any funeral, you’ll still need to plan the order of the service. Even though this is a virtual event, it follows the same structure as an in-person funeral. Our helpful guide on the Preparation for Ceremony page will assist both yourself and the Our Treasured Memories Master of Ceremonies create a clear itinerary with the order of service.
If you plan to have guests speak, ensure they know what to expect and that they have a webcam and microphone. In addition, prepare any visuals and music in advance so they’re easy to pair with Zoom. See our helpful guide to assist with this preparation.
How to Invite Guests
You’ll need to invite your guests to the Zoom funeral a little bit differently than you would a traditional funeral. Since this is a digital funeral, it’s best to send digital invitations. If you have purchased a Memorial Wall, the date and time of the service will be automatically emailed to all addresses provided by you. If you would like to invite people to attend the ceremony, Zoom creates a specific link for this gathering, and you will be provided the link you’ll need to send to guests.
Your memorial wall will provide the date and time of the ceremony and a very easy way for guests to join the ceremony. One hour prior to the service, a Join the Ceremony link will appear on the wall and attendees only need to click on this button and they will be automatically taken to the Zoom login page. Those who will be presenters at the ceremony will be asked to join the event one hour prior to the service to ensure that their technology is working correctly. Other attendees will be able to join ten minutes prior to the ceremony, however, they can go into the waiting room to check their audio and video connections are working correctly up to one hour before the event is to take place.
Attending a Funeral on Zoom
If you’re invited to a funeral on Zoom, it’s natural to have some questions and concerns. This is especially true if you’re unfamiliar with the Zoom platform. Luckily, it’s easy to get the hang of this virtual meeting tool so you can be there for the bereaved family in their time of need.
A helpful video has been provided to assist in this area.
What Tech Tools Do I Need?
If you’re a guest at a virtual funeral, you don’t need any fancy technology to join the service. All you need to get started is your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Download the Zoom app on your smartphone or tablet if this is the device you plan to use.
However, if you’re speaking at the service virtually, you’ll need to take some extra steps. Most modern devices have a camera and microphone connected already, but you could add your own to improve the quality. Otherwise, be sure to test all of these integrations in advance to keep things running smoothly.
Finally, the most important way to pay your respects is to simply be present. A virtual funeral usually isn’t the family’s first choice. There are a number of reasons the family resorted to Zoom instead of an in-person service, so the least you can do is be there for the virtual event as a sign of respect and support.