A rise in virtual funeral planning and funeral streaming during the ongoing pandemic has led to frequent questions about planning virtual funeral services. This makes sense for a couple reasons:
- Some people are hesitant to meet in person to make funeral plans for themselves or a loved one.
- Some people are not comfortable traveling to a funeral service if they live out of the area, are elderly or are immunocompromised.
Over the last year, Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium has worked with more than 300 families of people who died from the coronavirus. As you may be aware, we’ve taken many precautions to safely serve the community while following New Hampshire and Vermont guidelines related to the pandemic.
How to plan virtual funeral services
In the early days of the pandemic, some families decided to pause funeral services and memorials for loved ones until the situation improved. They wanted to wait until it was safe to have a gathering larger than immediate family.
Today, New Hampshire and Vermont funeral homes are able to hold services at full capacity, with our safety guidelines still in place in regards to sanitizing, masks, etc.
Zoom is the norm
Our funeral directors work with many families virtually for funeral planning. After a year of lots of virtual communications, many of us are much more comfortable with the idea of virtual meetings and making big decisions while speaking to someone on a screen.
Virtual planning meetings are a safe and convenient option. We also host hybrid meetings with families where some are local and want to meet in person while others are virtual due to distance or health precautions.
We’ve always embraced technological advances in the funeral industry while maintaining the personal contact needed to help families through a devastating time.
You don’t have to travel to be there
We began live video streaming funeral services from our chapel on Hanover St. in Manchester before the pandemic. Early on, families chose the live video streaming service sporadically, but today it’s more the norm, with several services per week live streamed online.
This allows those who don’t feel comfortable traveling long distances to participate in the service and visitation. Those who are ill, elderly or have underlying health conditions often choose to participate via live streaming . Many houses of worship now offer live video streaming as an option as well.
Even when there isn’t a pandemic, some people deal with extreme anxiety when attending a funeral or visitation. It may be difficult for them to control their emotions. Live streaming lets them show support and pay condolences in what they may consider a more comfortable environment.
Keep in mind, online memorials are an effective way to pay tribute to and preserve the memory of a loved one. The tributes are a way for friends and family to visit the webpage to comment, support and remember their loved one. Our online tributes are for any loved one who has passed away, even if it was not recently.
We understand that nothing can completely replace that one-on-one human interaction during times of sadness and mourning. But until we can all gather together safely under one roof, we want options available for families when saying goodbye to their loved ones.