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What impact has digital technology had on funerals?

06 Nov 2023 | 2 min read time

Digital technology has changed almost every aspect of modern life. While funeral services are often defined by tradition more than innovation, technology has had a notable impact on funerals.

Live video streaming of funerals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, watching a live video stream was often the only way that people could attend funerals. Restrictions on the number of people that were allowed to gather in person made virtual funeral services commonplace. Some local authorities in the UK even began offering free live streaming for funerals during the pandemic.

Even without social distancing limits, live streaming funerals has clear benefits for people who are unable to travel. Live streaming technology offers a vital alternative for friends and family who are in other countries, if the funeral is held at short notice, or when mourners are elderly or unwell and can’t travel.

Online memorials

Online memorial websites allow families to create collections of photos and videos to remember their loved ones. They also provide a secure space for friends and family to share their stories and memories with each other. There are several popular online memorial platforms, each offering slightly different services. Most offer a free option, but also the opportunity to pay for additional features.

Together with our network of independent funeral directors, we’ll soon be bringing back our own digital memorial service, Light a Candle. This service allows you to create digital memorial candles. Look out for your local participating funeral director, or follow us on Facebook for more information.

Online giving

As funerals have become more personal, charitable donations to a loved one’s favourite causes have become a common way to honour their passing. Some charities offer memorial-giving pages which typically include a tribute to the deceased, and the reason the charity has been chosen.

Online comparison

Shopping around before committing to a funeral director could reduce unexpected expenses, but contacting multiple funeral directors following a bereavement can be overwhelming. Online directories like make it easier for families to research and compare funeral costs. The free service lets people search by postcode or town to find funeral director listings that show which services are provided and, in some cases, price information.

Funeral music

As popular music often replaces traditional hymns at funeral services, digital music services like Spotify and Apple Music have become increasingly important. The vast majority of musical requests can be met through these services, from upbeat charts hits to older, more obscure picks.

Social media

Newspapers are no longer the only way to announce deaths to friends and family. Social media, particularly Facebook, allows you to quickly share the news to everyone in your circle. It’s also an easy way to share the details of the funeral service.

Golden Charter

Smart Planning for Later Life

We are one of the largest funeral plan providers in the UK* and we work with over 2,900 independent funeral directors across the UK*. Many are long-standing, family-run businesses and all provide a compassionate and professional service.

Find out more about how you can plan for the future with one of the funeral directors in our network.