Virtual Memorial Service Ideas - How To Plan A Virtual Funeral
When someone dies, one of the most difficult things to deal with is the funeral. It can be hard to cope with the emotions and say goodbye to a loved one. For many people, arranging a traditional funeral is too difficult. This is especially true in 2022 as the COVID-19 pandemic makes it more difficult (and risky) to host large groups. Factor in the consideration of at-risk individuals, and in-person funerals don't make sense anymore.
This is where virtual funerals come in. A virtual funeral allows you to say goodbye to your loved one in a way that is comfortable for you. A virtual funeral or memorial service is a way of connecting and gathering your family, friends, and loved ones to honor the passing away of your loved one. However, a virtual online memorial service is the best platform for people who, either due to COVID-19, are under quarantine or for family and friends who live in a far distant country and won’t be able to attend the funeral service of their deceased, a virtual memorial service is always an excellent option to adopt.
In this guide, we will walk you through how to plan a virtual memorial service. We'll also share some of our favorite virtual memorial service ideas! First things first - more information on virtual funeral services.
What Is A Virtual Funeral Service?
Before we can teach you how to plan a virtual funeral service, we need to discuss what these are in the first place. And as the name suggests, a virtual funeral or memorial service is just like an in person gathering - with a key difference. Rather than spending a huge chunk of change on a funeral home or venue, you can save money by hosting the happenings online - via Zoom link, skype, or other telecommunication software. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of proceeding:
Advantages of a Virtual Funeral Service
- Cost-Effective: The virtual service saves you and your guest a lot of money and time for traveling, booking a hotel, transportation, feeding, and more. Also, it is considerable if your guest attending this virtual memorial service can afford to celebrate the memories of the deceased.
- Prevents Traveling: Attending a virtual online service virtually is better than not having to attend at all for personal reasons. Moving from one country to another can be challenging due to the high cost of a flight ticket, the safety and security of one’s life, health conditions, and time consumption. The decision to do things virtually will be convenient for most people.
- It Increases the Chances of Participation: Those who simply cannot afford physical funeral services and are interested in participating can actually see the virtual aspect as an advantage to them. The virtual element presents people with the opportunity from any part of the world to participate in the funeral service of their loved ones without being restricted by distances, space, and location, all thanks to your decision to have a virtual memorial service.
Disadvantages of a Virtual Funeral Service
- People’s Perception: People have different opinions about certain things; while some might understand the reason and intentions behind your decision to have a virtual online memorial service, others might consider it wrong to celebrate your loved one.
- Time Differences: If people from different countries and locations participated in the virtual memorial service, the scheduled time might not be favorable, and you might want to consider the time difference.
- An Excuse Not to Attend: For someone who has been looking for an excuse not to attend the funeral service, they might see this as an opportunity to achieve their desires.
How To Plan A Virtual Funeral Service
The first step in planning a virtual funeral is to decide what type of service you want. While an in person event is a somber affair, virtual funerals can be more creative. You can personalize the service to reflect your loved one's personality. For example, if they were an avid gardener, you could hold the service outdoors with family and friends sharing memories of your loved one while surrounded by nature.
Once you've decided on the type of service you want, it's time to start planning. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Choose a date and time for the service. Keep in mind that not everyone will be able to attend if the service is held during work hours.
- Send out invitations. You can use a service like Eventbrite to send electronic invitations or even mail out physical invitations if you prefer.
- Choose a virtual venue. Since you're holding the service virtually, you'll need to decide which platform you want to use. A zoom link is a popular option, but there are plenty of others to choose from.
- Decide on the program. What order will the service be in? Will there be speakers? How long will each part of the service be?
- Choose music. Music can set the tone for the entire service. Make sure to choose songs that reflect your loved one's personality and bring back happy memories.
- Plan the logistics. Who will be responsible for setting up the virtual meeting? Who will greet guests as they join? Who will lead the service?
- Collect memories. Ask family and friends to share their favorite memories of your loved one. You can compile these into a video or photo montage to be played during the service.
- Choose readings. If you want to include readings as part of the service, now is the time to choose them. You can find readings online or in books. Just make sure they are appropriate for the tone of the service.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when planning a virtual funeral. By following these steps, you can be sure that the service is everything your loved one would have wanted it to be. Now that you know how to plan a virtual funeral, let's take a look at some of the best virtual memorial service ideas for personalizing the event to your special somebody.
The Best Virtual Memorial Service Ideas You Can Use When Planning An Online Funeral
One of the best things about virtual funerals is that they can be customized to reflect your loved one's personality. Here are a few virtual memorial service ideas to get you started:
- Kick things off by hosting a fun game for the virtual event. This will lighten the mood. If the person had a favorite online game, you can play it with other members over the video conference.
- Have family and friends share their favorite memories of your loved one. These can be recorded ahead of time and played during the service.
- Put together a photo or video montage of your loved one's life. This is a great way to share memories with those who may not have known your loved one well.
- Have a virtual candle lighting ceremony. Each person can light a candle in honor of your loved one and say a few words.
- Play music that was important to your loved one. You can even ask family and friends to share their favorite songs.
- Hold a virtual balloon release. Everyone can write a message to your loved one on their balloon and let it go at the same time.
These are just a few ideas for personalizing your virtual funeral service. By thinking outside the box, you can create a truly unique and memorable service that celebrates your loved one's life.
Final Thoughts On How To Plan A Virtual Funeral Service
We've explained what exactly a virtual funeral or memorial service is, and what advantages and drawbacks they come with. Despite the differences in time, locations, and events, virtual memorial services will always be a good alternative to keep memories alive. And now that you know how to plan a virtual funeral service, you can effortlessly put together a memorable celebration of life that will help you and other friends and family members navigate the grieving process.
Want to explore other methods of remembering a loved one? We wrote a complete guide on the subject, and also have a blog post explaining creative ways to memorialize someone. Both of these are excellent resources to help you get through this difficult time - or, to help a grieving parent in your life. One common recommendation you'll see across these resources is a tribute website for the life lost. These work great in tandem with virtual memorial services.
Not only will a memorial page preserve the person's life and memory online forever, but it makes it easy for people far and wide to come together and mourn their death. It will help current generations grieve while helping future generations learn of this important person. Online memorial voice notes are there to allow you to hear their voice when you're missing them a little extra. Or, use the online memorial family tree feature to outline their lineage. People who visit the online memorial can even sign the online memorial guest book. Try it out yourself and see why more and more people are using Forevory to preserve memories of lost loved ones and get through the grief virtually.