Not only has modern technology affected how we live, it has also affected how we die. In this day and age, it’s not always possible, safe, or practical to host a funeral entirely in-person. As more families are spread out across the country or the globe, it’s never been more valuable to have virtual funeral tools.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Is a Virtual or Online Funeral?
- Why Use a Virtual Service?
- 1. GatheringUs
- 2. Remembering Live
- 3. Keeper
- 4. Perpetual
- 5. Plan a Funeral
- 6. Lighten Arrangements
- 7. Virtual Memorial Gatherings
Planning and hosting a live streamed or online funeral can bring ease of mind with a few steps, enabling you to stream your funeral live online to your full guest list regardless of where they are in the world.
If you’re planning a funeral, particularly an online funeral, you already know it can be a large task. We’ve made things a little bit simpler by compiling a list of the most popular live stream or online funeral companies. These are the pioneers leading the way for the world of virtual funerals.
Everyone deserves the right to mourn on their own terms. Regardless of physical barriers and distance that keeps us apart, funerals are a time to come together. Thanks to live streamed and online funerals, there’s nothing holding these events back.
GatheringUs is a platform that helps arrange virtual funerals and ceremonies. They also offer free online memorial sites to honor the lives of loved ones.
The professionals at GatheringUs believe that commemorating a life together can be one of life’s most meaningful experiences. They also understand the importance of ritual, togetherness, and personal tributes in these ceremonies, making it possible to curate these online.
- Memorial pages and guestbooks (free)
- Virtual funeral and ceremony planning
- Virtual funeral and ceremony facilitation
- Event recordings
- Professional virtual funeral and ceremony design
- Ongoing technical support
GatheringUs specializes in virtual and hybrid ceremonies. There are no limits to how many people you can include, your event program, and how to honor the life of your loved one. GatheringUs offers free consultations to discuss how they can meet your needs.
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Remembering Live is a digital service that will set up and facility any virtual video meeting for your friends and family.
They ensure each meeting is private and meaningful. Having a team of experts take the lead virtually to ensure everything runs smoothly technically and structurally gives your family the ability to focus on grieving.
Remembering Live Features
- Virtual memorial planning (Starting at $799.99+)
- Virtual memorial facilitation
- Concierge support
- Event recordings
- Professionally built tribute websites (Starting at $399.99+)
- Virtual obituary and online funeral guest book
- Donation page
Remembering Live began in 2020 after Dave Kerpen’s mother died at the age of 79 during a global pandemic. Because he was unable to grieve his mother’s death in-person with his loved ones, he created an online memorial service attended by over 300 friends and family. Since then, he built and launched Remembering Live to assist other families in their time of need.
Keeper (get 10% off with code 'JOINCAKE') promises to put together a memorial service that's just like an in-person memorial, complete with eulogies, slideshows, poems, religious text, and even legacy activities. Like most virtual funeral companies, they work alongside you, your loved ones, or your funeral home to plan the event, and they even handle day-of logistics.
- Planning session with a facilitator
- Event moderation
- Thank you emails
- Memorial pages for the deceased
- Slideshow creation
- Event recording
- Discount for keepsakes
Keeper offers two experiences: the Core Experience ($1,200) and Premium ($1,900). If you go with the Premium Experience you'll get a longer planning session, rehearsal, and service, breakout rooms, professionally written eulogy, mindfulness sessions, and a custom legacy activity. The Premium Experience sets Keeper apart from the rest of the virtual funeral companies and is fairly priced, too.
Another virtual funeral tool is Perpetual. This digital tool defines itself as a funeral agency for a modern life. They work with families to design a celebration ceremony that’s right for them. Everything is virtual, and it’s easy to transform these stories into lifelong legacies.
- Sharable remembrance video slideshow
- Virtual life celebration event planning
- Digital memorials
- Professional video shoot
- Life documentary
Perpetual’s pricing begins at $3,500. They transform digital remembrance into a luxurious, streamlined experience with every aspect of their service offerings.
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Plan a Funeral is an online space to remember your loved one with both custom online memorials and gatherings. While they also assist with in-person funeral planning, they specialize in virtual gatherings. From virtual rooms to invites and recordings, they help with every stage of the planning process.
Plan a Funeral Features
- Full event management (virtual or in-person)
- Virtual invite design
- Virtual rooms with unlimited time
- Event recording
- Slideshow production
- Virtual event facilitation
- Virtual guestbook and online memorial
Plan a Funeral understands how challenging it can be to plan a virtual or in-person funeral on your own. They take the stress out of this process so all you have to do is show up and be present. Their service packages begin at $500 and go up from there depending on any optional add-ons.
No matter where you are in the world, you can celebrate the life of your loved one. Lighten Arrangements offers full-service memorial planning, including remote celebrations. They design special, virtual spaces to safely and securely share your reflections, memories, and feelings after a passing.
Lighten Arrangements Features
- Memorial website
- Obituary creation
- Virtual photo slideshow
- Personalized virtual service
- Full-service guidance and support
- Virtual event facilitation
Lighten Arrangements has experience helping families navigate both in-person and digital gatherings. They know how important it is to come together, and they make this time easier for everyone. Contact them to receive a custom quote.
Virtual Memorial Gatherings understands the power of memories, especially when it comes to grief and loss. They want families to have the comfort of a virtual funeral service without the stress of technology getting in the way. Starting at $599, this is an affordable way to create the perfect online service.
Virtual Memorial Gatherings Features
- Virtual event planning and personalization
- Online memorial page creation
- Digital memory card creation
- Virtual slideshow
- Digital guestbook
- Online memorial service management
- Event recording
- Virtual event facilitation
Started by Willis Turner, an experienced funeral planner, this service has 15 years of experience helping nonprofits manage their own virtual events. Now, these services are put to use to assist families in their darkest of days.
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What Is a Virtual or Online Funeral?
First, let’s talk about what a virtual or live stream funeral is and how it works. Traditionally, after a loved one dies, friends and family gather in-person at a funeral venue to honor their life and legacy. The gathering usually takes place at a funeral home, religious church or temple, family member’s home, or even at the graveside.
However, due to a number of modern circumstances, it’s not always possible to attend the funeral in person. Here are some of the common reasons people aren’t able to attend an in-person funeral:
- Illness and safety: One reason for not being able to attend is illness, disability, or other safety. Sometimes it’s not practical or even safe to travel.
- Distance: We live in a global world. Many people live in different states, countries, or parts of the world. Traveling such a far distance by plane, car, or other transport isn’t always affordable.
- Work: Unfortunately, it’s also not always possible to take time off work to travel to an in-person funeral.
- Sudden: In the case of a sudden or traumatic loss, the family might not have time to prepare arrangements to attend the funeral in-person.
- Children or pets: Last but not least, we all have our own commitments in life. Some aren’t able to find last-minute accommodations for children, pets, and so on.
Though it’s not always easy to bring everyone together in-person, a virtual funeral gives the option to hold this ceremony online. By livestreaming the service, everyone can watch the funeral, hear the speakers, and give virtual support.
Many families also choose what’s called a hybrid service. This is when some attend in-person and others attend virtually. No matter what you choose, you don’t have to make any compromises with an online or virtual funeral.
Why Use a Virtual Service?
You might be wondering why you should use a virtual funeral service instead of creating the virtual funeral yourself. While it’s certainly possible to host your own Zoom funeral for a loved one, this can be a time consuming, tricky process.
Many people have enough on their plate as it is. After losing a loved one, you’re likely experiencing grief and overwhelm at all of the steps that come next. A virtual service makes this process easier.
While planning a funeral is already challenging enough, many families are intimidated at the thought of integrating technology as well. From ensuring everyone receives an invite code to moderating a virtual discussion, this takes a lot of time and energy.
These tools are designed to make each step seamless, and they take a lead role in ensuring everything runs smoothly from start to finish. Essentially, they do the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on being present at the memorial.
Join Together Virtually
These live stream or online funeral companies have largely developed out of necessity. A few years ago you might not have considered needing any type of virtual funeral assistance. However, in modern times, the world is a different place.
There are a number of legitimate reasons to host a virtual or live stream funeral. Not only is it sometimes less expensive, but it allows friends and family from across the globe to be there when it matters most. That is priceless.
While you’re always free to plan a virtual funeral on your own, these services have the process mastered. They’re an outstanding resource, providing help and planning tools every step of the way. You don’t have to face these steps alone.