Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2008-04 > 1209504147

Subject: [Q-R] Pay-Per-View Funerals, Burials and Cremations
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 17:22:27 EDT

Pay-Per-View Funerals, Burials and Cremations
Suppose something unavoidable has prevented you from attending the funeral,
burial or cremation of a loved one. You just can’t get there and you wish
there was a way you could see the complete ceremony. Well, if the cremation
happened to be at Southampton Crematorium in the UK you would be in luck. The
Crematorium is now offering a £75 pay-per-view service to mourners who can’t
make the funeral.
No longer will distance or ill health keep family and friends from seeing
the funeral service. For a fee, online mourners will be able to watch a funeral
service live, or for up to seven days after the event has taken place. By
discreetly placing a video camera in the chapel and streaming the video service
onto a password protected website mourners will be able to view the service
live. In addition to charging subscribers £75 to view the cremation, Wesley
Music, which is providing this service, will also offer DVDs of the event for
£50 or audio recordings for £25.

The filming will be done with a small, digital camera set up at the back of
the East chapel. For the £75 fee, families will receive a username and
password which they can give to anyone who cannot attend the ceremony. Security, of
course, is a major concern. David Powell, of Southampton, UK, based funeral
director Henry Powell and Son, said funerals he had organized for testing the
system had been seen via webcast in Canada and Australia. This illustrates
the point that using the Internet to broadcast these cremations removes
barriers that distance and time might otherwise cause.
Even with about 3,500 cremations carried out every year at the East and West
chapels, this is being viewed as an extra service for families rather than as
a commercial venture. A spokeswoman for Southampton City Council, which runs
the chapels, said the fee will cover the costs of running the equipment and
uploading the digitized service to the Internet. “It costs about £4,000 a
year to have the two chapels wired up and when it comes to profits, they are
negligible,” she added.
The service will also be offered at crematoria in Liverpool, Cambridge,
Nottingham, Peterborough, Worthing in West Sussex, Redditch in Worcestershire and
Wokingham, Berkshire.
CemeterySpot views these password protected broadcasts as a positive use of
technology. Sure it is stretching our comfort levels regarding what we find
acceptable. Probably because it is still a novel idea there will be someone
who finds this distasteful or inappropriate. And, yes, there is always the
possibility for abuse by uploading a private ceremony to an Internet site when
it may not be meant for public viewing.
Interesting,, our Online Memorial website, allows for
the uploading of a Eulogy and of the appropriately edited funeral, burial or
cremation at the discretion of the family. We believe that an online memorial
should be a vital and integral part of the overall funeral, memorial and
grieving process.
It is time to further embrace technology and use it to record our most
cherished memories, and to honor those we loved.

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