Our culture has become increasingly entwined with the internet, which now plays a role in practically every area of our lives. Of course, there are numerous advantages to interacting online, but for important life events, having a piece of paper to hold in our hands—something tactile, an artifact—can be valuable. Friends, coworkers, and loved ones might enjoy an emotional feeling of gathering through a funeral program they get when attending a funeral or memorial ceremony, for example.
A memorial service program is another method to show you care while celebrating the life of a loved one. This funeral brochure is more than just a piece of paper; it’s a keepsake that many people will treasure for years to come. If family members want to save the program in their scrapbooks, why not make it as charming and personal as possible?
What is a Memorial Service Program, and how does it work?
A funeral program (also known as a funeral brochure, order of service, or booklet) is a printed piece of paper or card that contains information about a funeral or memorial ceremony. The objective of this handout is to explain the major elements of the funeral, as well as to include quotations or poetry that respect the life of the person being honored.
This priceless printed memorial program informs guests on what to anticipate during the event. Families frequently desire to present a funeral program to assist attendance in participating in and following along with the festivities.
It’s normal to hand out or put a program on each seat when guests arrive, but you’re not compelled to print one if it doesn’t match your chosen manner of service.
Examples of Funeral Programs
A funeral program’s content changes based on your choices. Reviewing funeral program samples to explore alternatives might be beneficial if you’re seeking inspiration. A sample funeral program is a quick and easy way to put together a lovely funeral service program without having to start from scratch. Simply choose an outline you like, then fill in the data, images, and design layout to reflect your loved one’s personality.
Traditional Religious Service (Sample Funeral Program 1):
Here’s an example of conventional funeral order of ceremony for a religious or spiritual funeral. Although this example is for a Christian funeral ceremony, a similar framework may be used for any religious tradition’s funeral program:
- Music Prelude
- Processional – The Smith Family
- Scripture Reading – Caroline Smith (sister)
- Prayer – Rev. Thomas Brown
- Congregational Hymn – The Lord is My Shepherd, page 147
- Reading of Obituary – Jake Evans (friend)
- Eulogy – Jesi Moore (sister)
- Piano Solo – God Be with You ‘Til We Meet Again – Emily Johnson (aunt)
- Remarks – Max Cole (brother)
- Poem Reading – Tom Williams (cousin)
- Final Words – Mitzi Jones (sister)
- Closing – Rev. Jim Baldwin
- Final Viewing and Procession to Cemetery
Non-Traditional Funeral Service (Sample Funeral Program 2):
Looking for an alternative to a traditional funeral? Here’s an example of a non-traditional funeral program, along with an example of a printed program:
- Title: In Loving Remembrance of Marga Sinti Juarez, Adored Sister, Mother, and Wife
- Location: May 14, Johnsontown Community Park
- Welcome/Introduction – Mary Williams (sister)
- Reading, Peace My Heart, Rabindranath Tagore – Alex Harrison (cousin)
- The Garden Song – Bran Davids (nephew)
- Life Tribute – Harry Brooks (brother)
- Meditation or moment of silence
- Open Mic (please limit to 2 minutes per person)
- Acknowledgments and Closing Remarks – Dave Marcus (friend)
- Refreshments and Gathering to Follow the Service
- Optional: add a quote, poem, or verse
What Is the Best Way to Make a Funeral Program?
Where do you begin when learning how to write a funeral program? When planning a funeral program, keep the following items in mind. The objective is to convey information in an elegant and succinct manner. This printed program is a highlight reel that summarizes the person’s life in a few brief pages, rather than a comprehensive biography description.
Some funeral programs are four pages long, while others are single- or double-sided and only one page long. You may print the design layout front and back on a conventional size (8 12 X 11) landscape sheet and fold it down the middle for a four-page funeral service program, for example. A gorgeous cover page, order of service within, and more information on the reverse page will be included in the final product.
Tip: To avoid text showing through from front to back, we recommend selecting a stronger paper stock (80 lb “text” stock, for example) or a lightweight cardstock (65 lb “cover” stock, for example).
- Cover Page: The cover page is the first thing visitors see, therefore the design needs to “pop” on the front. The person’s name, birth/death dates, and a photo or collage of photos from throughout their life are frequently included on the cover page. A program title or topic, as well as an inspirational statement or quote, may appear on the cover page.
- Inside the Program: To get to the major section of the order of service for the funeral or memorial, turn to the first page. The interior part includes a chronological overview of the events, including eulogies, musical performances, readings, and more. Consider including a list of the persons who will be attending the service.
- Back of the Program: Finally, the printed program’s reverse might include any additional information about the individual or event. Continue reading for more funeral program ideas.
Order of Service in the Funeral Program
The funeral program order of service is easy and simple: discuss the services’ step-by-step processes.
You can follow a typical framework for the sequence of service, depending on the style of the event. Alternatively, make a change and use this template as a Choose Your Own Adventure tale, with just the most pertinent material given in the funeral booklet.
Sample 1 – Traditional Service:
The following is an example of typical funeral order of service outline:
- Music prelude
- Opening and closing prayers (if desired)
- Poem or scripture readings
- Music selection – congregational hymns and musical numbers
- Obituary reading
- Acknowledgments and thank you messages
Sample 2 – Non-Traditional Service:
If you’re planning an informal memorial or life celebration, make the following changes to the schedule:
- Music selections
- Meditation or moment of silence
- Life tribute
- Open mic or informal tributes
The key is to first settle on the service’s parts before deciding on the sequence and structure of the funeral program.
Wording for Funeral Programs and Ideas
The funeral program’s particular wording and concepts vary based on the type of ceremony you’re hosting and the most significant information you want to convey.
There are no hard and fast rules, so you have a lot of leeway in determining what information is relevant. To get you started, here are a few funeral program ideas:
- Scriptures: You can add pertinent hymns and texts in a religious ceremony.
- Poems: You might include a quotation or funeral service poems in a non-traditional funeral program.
- Service Information: Date, time, place, officiant, and so on.
- Order of Service: The list of events that will take place.
- Participants: Speakers, musicians, and pallbearers’ names are among those who will take part in the service.
- Musical Selections: For your funeral songs, use hymnal page numbers or lyrics.
- Obituary: Consider including a brief obituary or biography of the individual.
- Event Details: Share the interment (burial) places and times, as well as any post-funeral receptions.
Do you wish to try something new? Don’t be hesitant… go for it! Don’t restrict yourself to the material on this page. You are not required to incorporate all of these ideas in your essay. At the same time, you have the freedom to include whatever else you think is relevant.
Remember that the style and structure of a funeral service program and a memorial service program are nearly identical. Both of these occasions are intended to commemorate the life of a loved one. If you need to create a memorial program, simply follow the procedures above, adding, editing, or deleting components as needed.
Printing the Funeral Programs
Often, the printing of the funeral programs may be coordinated by your funeral director. This is a terrific alternative since it allows you to cross another item off your to-do list. You might also enlist the assistance of a friend or family member to assist with the printing and folding.
Alternatively, if you prefer a do-it-yourself method, choose a local printing shop to assist you. Make certain to inquire about the timeframe so that the funeral programs arrive on schedule.
Remember to keep the end aim in mind while planning a bespoke funeral service: to commemorate your loved one. To construct a funeral program that is ideal for your occasion, consider the person’s preferences, as well as family traditions and cultural influences.
Adding a Personal Touch to Funeral Service Programs
There are several ways to personalize a funeral service. Here are a few ideas to get you started on planning a memorable funeral or memorial service.
- Color and design. Select a program color and/or design motif (flowers, stars, trees, etc.) that seems appropriate and reflects the event’s mood.
- Tone. Use language that reflects the celebration’s tone. For instance, it might be more or less formal. If the individual being celebrated is well-known for their wit, a cheerful tone or even a humorous quotation may be appropriate as a compliment.
- Typestyles. The font, or style of type, you pick for a funeral program may convey the mood of the occasion, with more formal script types evoking a more elegant occasion and simple, basic designs suggesting a more contemporary or low-key impact.
- Photos. Choose at least one photo to use on the cover or inside the pages of your program. It’s also nice to include two images to illustrate the individual in different aspects of their life. This might include, for example, employment and family or youth and old age.
The most essential thing to remember when creating a funeral program is to tailor it to the memorial service or gathering you are having. Allow your loved one’s personality to guide your design choices, and add names of family and community members to make everyone feel included and valued. For years to come, your program might be a source of comfort and a keepsake.