Over the years with the introduction of new technology, funerals have changed. The way we can arrange a funeral, the way music is played at the crematorium, the way we inform friends and relatives of the funeral details and even the way we attend funerals have all changed, thanks to the benefits of modern technology. In this blog, we will take a closer look at these aspects and explore the benefits of using digital technology when arranging your loved ones funeral.
Making The Arrangements For Your Loved Ones Funeral
When the time comes to arrange a funeral of a loved one, families have always contacted their chosen Funeral Director and arranged an appointment to visit the office to make the arrangements.
But why do we arrange the funeral in this way?
Over time and with the introduction on new technology such as Zoom, Skype, Teams and email, we don't always need to go into an office to arrange the funeral. More and more families are requesting home visits from Funeral Directors. Families feel more comfortable discussing private personal and financial information in the comfort of their own home rather than a funeral office, in an environment unfamiliar to them with possible distractions taking place when arranging the funeral of a loved one.
By requesting a home visit at a time, date and place of your choosing, you can guarantee complete privacy, a more personal service and be at ease in your own environment when talking about a fitting tribute in honour of your loved one.
If you live at a distance from your chosen Funeral Director, arrangements can now be carried out over Zoom or another communication tool or even over the phone. This enables you to cut out the need to travel to the office and all documentation can be completed via email. Cutting down travel time can be beneficial to the environment, reducing our carbon footprint, which is very important to many people. During the Covid lockdown, most funeral arrangements were being made over the phone and the use of digital communication tools were used more.
Many of the Registrars and Coroners offices now email the required paperwork directly to the Funeral Director and the Funeral Directors forward these documents to the local authorities to allow the funeral to take place.
The Funeral Director can email you the funeral confirmation letters, service sheet draft, invoice and all the statutory documentation for the crematorium or cemetery. The use of email has ensured that important letters will arrive in your email inbox in seconds without the worry of the letter getting delayed or lost in the post.
At Vines Funerals, we specialise in home arrangements when helping you to arrange your loved ones funeral. There are many benefits to this method. Please click here to find out more.
How Do We Make Our Friends & Relatives Aware Of The Funeral Arrangements?
When making the announcement of the funeral arrangements, families would look towards the newspaper to insert a death notice/obituary. Arguably the newspaper was looked at as being the best way to tell people about when and where the funeral was to be held, alongside word of mouth.
Over the years, the volume of announcements in the newspaper has reduced. With the introduction of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter) and many more, families now choose to make announcements using these methods instead. The reach of social media platforms enable us to reach a wider audience when making any announcements and this can be done free of charge. With the amount of people using social media continues to increase and the internet being so powerful, the newspapers are slowly fading away with less and less people reading them in some areas of the country, combine this with the cost to place a death notice/obituary, families are looking at saving money where they can and now choose to use social media methods.
Families can even now create a memorial tribute page / support hub free of charge, where friends and relatives can light candles & leave messages of support during the families loss. This can be done on social media or by approaching a memorial page company such as Guardian Angel or Much Loved.
The tribute pages can now be set up with a donation link, so friends and family can make a donation online to a chosen charity, instead of having a collection box at the crematorium.
These pages are ideal for displaying all the funeral information, such as the date, time and location.
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Music & Visual Tributes At The Crematorium
Historically when requesting music to be played at the crematorium, families would need to find & supply the CD to be played during the service and any hymns would be played on the organ in the chapel.
With the introduction of the music systems such as Obitus and Wesley Media, the need for CD's and organ music has become a thing of the past. All your chosen music and hymns will be selected by your Funeral Director and uploaded to the system ready for the service. This process is done in minutes and on the day, all the celebrant/minister needs to do is press the button to start and stop the music.
Alongside the music aspect of Obitus and Wesley Media, families can now upload a slideshow of pictures to be played during the service creating a visual tribute to their loved one at an additional charge.
What happens when someone can't attend the service on the day?
Another key benefit to Obitus and Wesley Media is the introduction of webcasting. Anyone, anywhere can now log in and watch the service in real time if they cant make it to the service location on the day. There is usually a small charge to be able to do this but the process is very easy.
The Funeral Director will set up the webcast and a link will be emailed to the next of kin with login details. The login details are then passed on to who would need them for them to login on the day.
Following the service, a copy can be purchased in the form of a USB stick with a recording of the service, that is yours to keep. If you didn't want a USB stick then you can still request the online recording to be kept for 21 days following the service if anyone would like to watch it in the weeks following.
In conclusion, it is clear that the way we arrange a funeral and the aspects involved have changed over the years.
The use of digital technology definitely has its place and makes the process of selecting music and creating visual tributes far more easier. It is comforting to know that families no longer have to worry about missing the service, thanks to webcasting.
Using email to send letters and documents again makes the process far easier than relying on posting the letters/documents as it reduces the risk of them getting lost or there being a delay in receiving them.
The use of social media & memorial pages has really had an impact on announcing the loss of a loved one and creating a space where family and friends can come together to share their special memories. Moving forward into the future, newspapers possibly will continue to become a thing of the past to announce funeral details as the power of social media has far more benefits that outweighs those of the newspaper.
Finally, when arranging a loved ones funeral. Will we continue to see a change in the way we do this?
Which brings us back to the question earlier.
Why do we still go into a funeral home to arrange a funeral?
The answer could be as simple as, that is what we have always done.
We have explored some different methods earlier in this blog which hopefully will promote some thought and discussion. it is clear that home visits and also the use of digital communication tools have a place when arranging a funeral and would benefit many people.
It all comes down to personal choice and what you prefer to do. Going into a funeral home does not always guarantee a personal service, nor does it mean that you will receive the best service.
When contemplating how to arrange your loved ones funeral, it may be better to think about the reason you are choosing that funeral home. Is it down to the cost of their services? is it down to their location? is it down to a certain individual who works there?
A funeral home is just a building, costs change over time, people leave, services change. so when you need to arrange a funeral, the best thing to do is look at all Funeral Directors and what they offer and more importantly, how do they make you feel?