Despite the fast paced, technological advancements of world that we live in, funerals in England have maintained their traditional structure. Where daily life has been taken over by technology, the funeral industry is only now starting to embrace the use of technology within funeral services. In some respects, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the widespread use and acceptance of technology during funerals. So, how is technology changing funerals?
Impact of Technology on Funerals
Traditionally funerals were held in churches and more recently chapels of Crematoria. Whether officiated by a minister or celebrant the mainstay of most funerals has been the recital of poems and other readings, as well as the singing of hymns usually accompanied by a musician. Both churches and secular venues have been adopting technology that now allows for a more visual experience that incorporates modern music choices.
Religious based services, depending on the religion and church, have generally been slower to adopt technology than non-religious venues. Celebrants such as Steve, have more flexibility in the content and style of service and can therefore, tailor the use of technology accordingly. Particularly at celebration of life services, the use of technology has been widely accepted.
To enable the widespread use of technology within an industry that is very traditional, businesses such as Obitus are aiming to make the use of technology as easy and unobtrusive as possible. Obitus provides digital solutions to support funeral venues, funeral directors, and officiants. The most frequent use of technology is enabling funerals to include:
- Photo/Video Tributes
- Modern music
Obitus provide technology that is easy to use, as well as maintenance and training, allowing the seamless integration of technology.
Webcasting of Funerals
Pre-Covid the thought of live streaming or recording the funeral service of your Gran would have been unthinkable to many people. However, rules around social distancing and limiting large gatherings has necessitated families having to choose who can physically attend a funeral. With limited numbers of funeral guests, inevitably some family members missed the opportunity of attending their loved one’s funeral. This is where webcasting has stepped in allowing all family members to attend the service virtually.
Obitus has provided webcasting equipment to funeral venues around England, allowing funeral services to be easily and reliably recorded, streamed, and re-watched by families. As rules have been lifted, the number of guests at funerals has increased, however, the use of webcasting is still going strong. The ability to live-stream a service is particularly invaluable for family members that would otherwise geographically be unable to attend. With families often spread around the globe the ability to use webcasting technology avoids the need for expensive flights and extended time away from work and other commitments. Covid-19 may have of accelerated the normalisation of videoing a funeral service, however, the technology is proving to be invaluable and looks set to be a mainstream offering at funerals going forward.
Photographic and Video Eulogies
Most funeral venues have large television screens available for use during services. Increasingly people are opting to use these screens alongside modern technology to create photographic and video tributes. Visually remembering those special moments, through a collection of photographs and videos is a powerful way of remembering how the person that has died touched the lives of those around them.
Photographs and video clips of times shared with the person that has died are collated into a tribute that is set to music and played during the service. These tributes can be made by companies such as Obitus, however, increasingly funeral directors and celebrants have undertaken the training to create them themselves. The creation of video eulogies is part of the service offered by Celebrant Steve, and you can find out more here. The process of asking for images and videos, then listening to the memories and stories evoked helps Steve to understand the personality and uniqueness of the deceased, better enabling him to present a tailored funeral service that perfectly encapsulates their individuality.
Traditionally hymns have been played by an organist or pianist at a funeral. However, as more people opt for secular or celebration of life services there has been an increase in demand for different styles of music. Obitus provides venues with cutting-edge technology and access to every genre of music, further enabling the service to be personalised to the person that has died.
Of course, traditional hymns are still available and frequently requested. However, your imagination is the limit. From pop music to rock and roll, heavy metal to show tunes the music played can be the deceased favourite song, music reminiscent from a life event, or simply something chosen by family and friends that reminds them of the person that has died.
Technology for Modern Funerals
Clearly technology is changing everyday life, and this is now spreading into funerals. For those that want a truly traditional service the option remains, there is no requirement to utilise the technology available. However, for people that are ready to embrace the tech, video tributes, music and webcasting are revolutionising the industry. Business such as Obitus is supporting venues, funeral directors, and officiants to offer an array of technology-based enhancements to truly make every funeral a unique event. If you’re interested in pre-planning your own funeral or employing Celebrant Steve for the funeral of your loved one, contact him now, to find out more about how technology can be incorporated. He offers a pre-planning service, that is free of charge when he is named as your funeral officiant.