2. Define roles
It’s a lot of responsibility to plan a memorial.
It’s a good idea to enlist help, both logistical and emotional. It can be a more rewarding to do this together.
Especially if you were personally affected by the death, we strongly suggest enlisting other people to help you plan and facilitate the virtual memorial. Doing so can help you share the lows and the highs and allow you to process and grieve along with others in the memorial. You may also find that working with loved ones to plan a memorial can be a healing process, and an opportunity to express gratitude and love with others.
Below are suggested team members and roles. At the minimum, you will want to identify a host/facilitator and a technology operator for your virtual memorial.
- Host or Facilitator // This person guides the flow of the experience, introduces speakers, and ensures the ceremony goes as planned. Ideally they are co-designers of the memorial and provide a welcoming environment.
- Tech Operator(s) // This person is responsible for the video conference link, managing audio, visuals, and other media during the event. It helps if this person is very comfortable with technology.
- Officiant/Celebrant (optional) // You may invite a religious representative or spirtitual guide to help lead the service. This person might serve iin the Host/Facilitator role, or participate in addition to one. They are often involved in designing the memorial with you, if they are able.
- Invitations // Create and send invitations, manage RSVPs
- Media // Gather photos & videos, make a slideshow or tribute video
- Music // Identify music for the memorial, including songs to be sung together, line up performances, or create a special playlist
- Readings // Find poetry, scripture, letters, or other readings for the ceremony
- Additional Technology Support // Ensure speakers are not having difficulty with the technology either before they arrive or during 'tech check' before the memorial program.
- For more elaborate, larger productions it can be helpful to have a Slide Operator in addition to the main Tech Operator, splitting the Tech Operator role into two.