Frequently asked questions

How does an Online Memorial work?

The aim of the service will be to remember and celebrate the life of your loved one. I will shape the contents of the Memorial in dialogue with you and other family members. People will be encouraged to share their memories of the person who has passed away in different ways. This can be done through sharing stories, readings, poems, music, photos and prayers, or reflections.

The Memorial takes place using an online meeting facility, Zoom. I provide you with a link, which you can share with family and friends, who can use it to register. Everyone who registers receives a further link which will allow them to connect with their phone, laptop, ipad or tablet into the ceremony and be able to see and hear everyone else.

How many people can attend?

An Online Memorial can connect anything from 2 devices to 100*.

As the number of people increase, it may not be possible to see everyone on the same screen at the same time, so your choice may be influenced by the size of the screen available to you on the day, and how much you want to avoid scrolling across screens. Most laptops will allow for 24 households to be seen at the same time, while the max possible is 49.
*As those in same household can log in using the same device, the total number who can attend is 200+.

Are Online Memorials religious?

The ceremonies are intended to reflect what you feel best honours your loved one, and what best fits to console and support those who are grieving most for them. As an Interfaith Mininster I have been trained to work with people of all faiths and none. I especially want to provide meaningful options for those who may no longer feel comfortable in a formal Church setting, but stil have some sense of connection with God, and want that to be part of how they mark this very significant moment.

If I am interested in progressing with an Online Memorial, what next?

If you would like to explore holding an Online Memorial, then please get in touch. We can then address any further queries by phone/email and arrange a date to have a consultation with those who will be involved in planning it. Steps from there:

  • Consultation meeting
  • Draft of Memorial sent to those at consultation, reviewed and finalised by email and phone if necesary
  • Early 'arrival' on day of Memorial to address any technical issues
  • Memorial itself, which can be recorded and made available afterwards

How is it different from watching the livestream of a funeral service?

It is quite different. When wider family and friends watch a funeral service or a month's mind Mass on a livestream, they can see a view of the Mass or service from a fixed point. As a lead mourner attending the actual service, you are not able to see any of these people who tune in online. By contrast, you will be able to see everyone who attends an Online Memorial and they will be able to see and speak with you too. Should someone become very upset during the Memorial, there will always be the option to turn their camera and their mic off, and to turn them back on when they are feeling able to do so.

Do I need a webcam to join a Online Memorial ?

If you do not have a webcam on your device you will still be able to join the Memorial. You will not be able to share video image of yourself during the meeting, but you will continue to be able to listen and speak during the meeting and view other participants.
All smart phones and most laptops have built-in webcams, so if you have access to such a device, and would like to be seen, this may be the best device to use.

Where can people join in an Online Memorial from?

People will be able to join an Online Memorial as long as they have a wifi signal, or mobile data. Your family member in Australia or in the US can join as easily as the neighbour from down the road.
It's also possible to join in from outdoors, depending on the signal. So if you wished, and depending on restrictions in place on the day, someone could go and visit the your loved one's grave, or place where their ashes were scattered, and take part from there.

Why are Online Memorials being offered now ?

I lost my own Dad in 2019. The chance to be together in the week before he died, and to be surrounded by friends and family at his wake, funeral and month's mind, were all a hugely helpful part of the grieving process. In his going, we were pulled together, as a family and as a community.

Over 20,000 people in Ireland have died since Covid restrictions began last March. If you are one of the bereaved 20,000 families, then you have lost not just your loved one, but the precious chance to be accompanied by others, in these familiar ways. in your loss.
Online Memorials are something new, and different. It is a harnessing of technology to offer some form of gathering to bereaved families. Far from ideal, but better perhaps than losing the chance to gather at all.

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