Attend a funeral service from anywhere in the world
Webcasting technology has been around since the 90s, but it was not until the 21st century that it was incorporated into funerals. It has been the norm for high-profile funerals like those of celebrities to be televised for some time now – American president John F Kennedy, Princess Diana and Elvis Presley all received this treatment.
But now, in selected crematoria throughout the UK, anybody can choose to have a live-streamed funeral.
The purpose of this service is to allow those who cannot make it to the funeral location to still feel part of the proceedings.
Dr Wendy Moncur, a researcher of socio-digital interaction at the University of Dundee, said: “The availability of webcasts for funerals play a part in the ‘de-sequestration’ of death and bereavement. Death is becoming less hidden, more public, in our society because of the internet and contemporary online responses to grief and loss.”
It is thought that webcam funerals are more in demand due to the increase in the mobility of modern society, with more people moving away from their birthplace, family and friends. As well as distance, other factors which may prevent attendance are financial or health related, stopping people from being able to say a final goodbye.
The costs of offering a live streamed funeral vary depending on whether funeral directors are using their own chapel or crematorium or if the filming is taking place on council-owned premises. Some funeral directors have reported around £45 for filming approval from their local council. The viewers are then given a pin code to log in to a secure site and access the video stream.
Dr Moncur added: “The rules are starting to become more plastic. There’s more of a personal approach to funerals, rather than a formulaic approach of what was always done in a church.”