The following press release proposes a novel idea that I predict will quickly catch on nationwide. If you can’t make the funeral, just watch it on your computer… By the way, Flanner and Buchanan do some really unique funeral stuff… Hmmm. Want to have a service for Spot or Kitty? They can do it… and in style.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers is now offering video recording and webcasting of funeral services to families.

broadcastingDifficulties in traveling to the funeral site – where services typically take place except in truly extreme circumstances – can prevent family and friends from making it to the important event. Now, with webcasting available, remote locations, either in the greater Indianapolis area or even overseas, can be utilized to view the funeral while it is taking place or at a later, more convenient time.

The portable system is available at all 14 Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers in Indianapolis and Hamilton County, or it can be used if the funeral service is being held at a locations, such as a religious institution, community center, or other gathering place.

The system was barely in place when a funeral in the Indianapolis area was viewed, in real time, by a relative stationed in Iraq. Other funerals have been broadcast to Japan and to locations much closer to home.

“This cutting-edge technology is an innovative way for us to bring memorial or funeral services to members of the family and the wider circle of friends who are unable to attend in person,” said Clayton.

“Families and friends are scattered – often around the world – and at times of grief and loss, their absence is keenly felt by those left behind. It’s our goal to help everyone come together to celebrate the life of their loved one, and find comfort. These webcasts also preserve a valuable piece of family history.”

The webcasting service offered by Flanner and Buchanan is offered through Event By Wire, a California-based company that offers a broadcast of the service, distributed over the Internet, using streaming technology. It can be viewed live or recorded, and viewed when friends and family wish to – sometimes over and over again.

The technology is portable, too. “We can take it anywhere, broadcasting services and events held in parks, churches, and other locations,” said Brian Buchanan, principal of Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers. “This is another way to build flexibility into every celebration. No two lives are alike, and no two memorial services should be; webcasting allows for the utmost in personalization.”

Webcasting is the latest in a long series of innovations offered by Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers to provide its client families with a variety of ways to celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

“Historically, entire communities came together to honor the life of the deceased and share their grief,” said Clayton. “In the 21st century, we’re finding family and friends to be scattered across the country, even around the world, often preventing them from joining such a gathering. Now, with the webcasting technology, Flanner and Buchanan can unite them once again.”

Whether arrangements for funerals are pre-planned or made upon the death of a loved one, families will be given the opportunity to select webcasting as one of the many options. Included in the $200 cost for the webcasting will be the choice of viewing sites, literally around the world, where friends and family may gather to watch the funeral at the same time it is taking place.

The funeral may be viewed on a computer, through a link that will be e-mailed ahead of time to those family members and friends unable to attend the service. “This allows the friends and family to view the funeral from the comfort of their own homes,” Clayton said. “It is a great service for shut-ins, out-of-town friends and families who, previously, had no way of participating in such a meaningful way in the memorial to their loved ones.”

If it is impossible for someone to view the funeral at the time it occurs, viewing a delayed broadcast on the computer will also be possible, he added.

Cameras will be discreetly placed at the funeral, and the results will be fed, as a live webcast, to those signed up to view it at the time of the service, or they may access the same webcast or at a later time.