Something that is present at most funerals is an order of service booklet. From hymns, poems to memories and photographs, there are a lot of aspects that can be included. Their main purpose is to provide the mourners with a schedule for the day as well as act as a keepsake and something to give to those who could not attend on the day. Here is our guide on how to create a funeral order of service.
What to include in a funeral order of service?
Whilst there are no strict rules on what format a funeral order of service needs to take, we go through the most common aspects to help you get started. The main sections we are going to cover are:
- Front Cover
- Schedule for the funeral service
- Memories of your loved ones
- Back Cover / Final Page
Logically, we are starting with the Front cover of the booklet. Usually, the cover is kept simple. Although you can design the front cover how you want it, keeping it simple can often look the most beautiful as it focuses on the most important things. There tends to be a photo of the deceased followed by their full name (plus nickname if were often referred by another name), the date of their birth and death, the information of the funeral (time, date, and location of the service) as well as a short quote that reflects your loved one.
Be careful when choosing the photo of your loved one. You want to choose one that not only truly reflects their personality but is of high enough quality to print. It would be a shame to have a grainy, blurry image on the front. Try and avoid group pictures so that the photo focuses only on your loved one. Also, consider what time period you want the photo to be from. This is completely down to personal preference and which time you want to remember them from. Some opt for a young photo whereas others choose a more recent image. Traditionally, funeral service photos are serious however this doesn’t have to be the case. If you have a lovely photo that would raise a smile, then you may want to include this. The important thing is that the photo represents who your loved one was.
Schedule for the funeral service
The next few pages form the focus of the order of service and include the schedule of the funeral service which helps inform everyone in attendance what is going to happen in the ceremony. You might want to include the following:
- Entrance music as everyone takes their seats
- Introduction to who will be leading the service
- Songs that will be played along with the artist
- Hymns that will be sung along with the lyrics
- Any readings along with the person who will be speaking
- Any blessings
- Closing music
Whilst you don’t have to follow this format to the letter, this can help give you a starting point. You might want to discuss the order of events with the person who will be conducting the service. They will have extensive experience of services and will often know which order works best. You can also check with them that all the necessary aspects are included.
Once the main aspects are included you can start adding some more personal elements. Whilst it is not a requirement, it can be a lovely gesture to include some memories about your loved one. For example, you might want to add some more pictures, include lyrics to their favourite song, add another favourite quote or a timeline of what they had achieved during their lifetime. The options are endless and whilst the more personal elements you add, the more special the order of service will be, you will have to take into account how much extra pages will cost to print.
Finish off the order of service booklet with a back page. This usually contains another photo that is different from the one on the front cover. You may want to opt for a group or family photo for the back.
The final page is also a great place to mention any preferred charities you are wanting any donations to go to. It is common now to choose a specific charity that meant a lot to your loved one or is directly related to the cause of death.
Finally, you may want to finish the order of service off by thanking everyone who has attended the funeral, along with special recognition to anyone who unfortunately could not be there. If you are having a wake in a separate location, you may also want to include the details for this.
Other things to consider
Once you have created the order of the service, you will need to consider how you want it to be printed. Using luxury thick card is always the best option as they will not become creased and folded easily. However, the cost of printing can vary significantly so you must consider your budget first. Always allow for additional copies. You don’t want to be surprised if people you weren’t expecting turn up. You also want to make sure you have enough copies to take home and also take on behalf of anyone who couldn’t attend the funeral in person. Whilst order of services are useful, they are also amazing keepsakes and a lovely thing to treasure.
When choosing the hymns, songs, and other elements of the service, also ask yourself if they reflect the personality and life of your loved one. It is also important to triple-check that your readers are happy to go ahead and speak during the service. Doing a reading takes a lot of courage, especially when you a grieving, so you want to make sure your readers want to do it before you add their names in writing.
Creating a funeral order of service can seem like a daunting task. However, if you follow our guide on how to create a funeral of service, step by step, you will be able to create something that is a unique commemoration of your loved one’s life. Whilst a lot of thought is needed to organise the order of service, you are left with something extremely special that you can look back on for years to come.