Remote mourning: Webcams bring the church to your living room


I found a new, sad but useful, use for broadband this week. Webcams in churches. I am in Ireland for a funeral. The funeral came up pretty suddenly – our “Irish Grandma” died after a brief illness. She has sons all over the world: Australia, London, New York, Florida and Minnesota. They were all able to be here but plenty of grandkids and other family members weren’t. Fortunately, the church was online. They maintain a webcam in the church at all times. So they whole funeral was livestreamed and is apparently archived.

It’s great comfort for family that weren’t able to be there. I suspect the archive will be a comfort later for those who were able to be there. I learned that one son watches the livestream on a regular basis when he misses home. I don’t think it’s the religious part he watches, just looking for neighbors and hearing the accent of home.

Kind of a strange use – but it shows how flat the world is becoming. Frankly the biggest issue with “attending” the ceremony wasn’t the distance – it was the time difference! And it makes the case that if you’re online you can be pretty much anywhere.