Virtual Jewish Funeral Service: Instructions for Guests

This article provides the basic information on what a Viewneral® is and how to attend a Viewneral if you are a guest or attendee.

What is a Viewneral®

A Viewneral® is an interactive and collaborative funeral service that virtually allows families and friends to memorialize, eulogize, and celebrate loved ones. Using a desktop, tablet or mobile device, this virtual online service with video and audio can easily be used to view funerals, burials, and other forms of gatherings, such as celebrations of life, memorials, and shivas.

What is a Virtual Funeral?

A virtual funeral allows family and friends to view and participate in the service in real time from the comfort of their own home or any other remote location by simply using their computer, tablet, mobile phone, or other device. Instead of being physically at the funeral home or cemetery, friends and family can view the service online as it happens, watching video with sound so they can memorialize, eulogize, and celebrate loved ones.

Who are Guests and Attendees?

Guests or attendees are anyone who is attending, joining or clicking the link to join watch and/or listen to a Viewneral®. Anyone who is attending to join, watch and/or listen to a Viewneral, can access the publicly accessible link that will be shared on the funeral website or circulated via email.

Who are Speakers?

Speakers are individuals that actively participate in the Viewneral® service. This includes funeral directors, clergy and immediate family members who typically provide a eulogy, prayer or generally memorialize their loved one during a Viewneral service. Similar to a traditional funeral when the family asks someone to speak, a Viewneral speaker will receive an invitation by email prior to the Viewneral. This invitation includes information about the Viewneral service, including the time. This link is unique to the speaker and should not be shared with the general public. For more information and guidance on how to participate as a speaker in Viewneral service and etiquette please click here for instructions.

How to Attend a Viewneral® Service

  1. The funeral service information can be found on the funeral home website.
  2. Each funeral home partner maintains a list of all upcoming funeral services on its website. On the service page for the individual, there is a link to a ShivaPlan™ that contains the funeral service information and Viewneral® service link.
  3. Click on the link to the Viewneral® Service (link will be active during the funeral times).
  4. You may be asked to launch or install the Zoom application if you have not used it before.
  5. Once launched, you will be asked to type in your full name and email address. The complete guest list, including this information will be provided to the family following the funeral service.
  6. Prior to the funeral service beginning you will see a box with a message stating the “funeral service will begin shortly.”
  7. You will automatically join the funeral service when it begins.
  8. Out of respect for the family, your video and microphone are automatically disabled and muted.
  9. When connected to the service, you may interact with the family by leaving them a message using the “Chat” function in the program.
  10. Simply press the “Chat” button. This is similar to writing a condolence message or signing a guestbook virtually. Your messages will be provided to the family following the funeral service. Please use this button only for personal messages directed to mourners.
  11. At the conclusion of the service you can exit by pressing “Leave” or by closing the browser screen.

Viewneral® Etiquette

  1. Join the Viewneral® virtual funeral five-minutes early to make sure your technology is running properly. This way you will not be late if there is a connection issue or something on your device is not working.
  2. Remember to keep your hands off the keyboard and close your email and other programs so you can give the funeral your complete attention
  3. Dress properly and comb your hair. In the event that you are called upon to speak your video may be enabled. Although you are remote, it is still a funeral so you want to be respectful. Remember people may be able to see you.
  4. If you are a speaker, keep your device muted until it is time to talk. There is usually a two-to-three second delay after someone talks, so it is best to speak clearly and concisely.
  5. Choose an appropriate background and find a quiet space that appears professional and is free from distractions.


For more information about having a Viewneral®, please contact your funeral director or at 877.788.6570.

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