How to Create a Funeral Order of Service
Creating a funeral order of service can be a daunting task, especially during a time of grief. However, it can also be a therapeutic process, allowing you to reflect on the life of the deceased and create a meaningful tribute. Here’s a guide to help you create a funeral order of service that is as unique and special as the person it commemorates.
Understanding the Funeral Order of Service
The funeral order of service is a printed guide to the funeral ceremony. It typically includes details about the deceased, photographs, and a list of the ceremony’s proceedings. While usually presented as an A5 booklet, the size, length, and content can be customised to reflect the personality and preferences of the deceased.
Having a printed order of service can be comforting for attendees, as it provides a clear outline of the ceremony and can include practical details like directions for after the service or how to donate in memory of the deceased. However, it’s not a necessity. Some funerals may opt for projecting information on a screen or verbal explanations by the celebrant.
Crafting a Personalised Order of Service
While there are no fixed rules for what to include in a funeral order of service, there are some common elements:
- Front page: This typically includes the deceased’s name, dates of birth and death, the funeral’s date, time, and place, a photo of the person, and a meaningful quote.
- Inside: This section outlines the order of the ceremony, including music, readings, hymns or songs, prayers, poems, eulogies, and tributes. It can also include the names of the celebrant and any family or friends involved in the ceremony.
- Back page: This page often includes a thank you note to attendees, information about donations to a chosen charity, and details about what will happen after the service.
To make the order of service more personal, consider incorporating elements that reflect the deceased’s personality, values, or interests. This could include their favourite colour, imagery related to a hobby or passion, or even their artwork or writings.
When deciding on the number of copies to print, it’s better to print a few extras than to run short. The main cost of printing is in setting up the initial print run, so adding a few extra copies won’t significantly increase the overall cost.
In terms of timing, you can start thinking about the order of service as soon as you start planning the funeral. It’s advisable to have all the content ready at least a week before the funeral date to allow time for layout, proofing, and printing.
Creating a funeral order of service is a deeply personal task, but remember, there are resources available to help you through the process, including downloadable templates and design ideas online. The most important thing is that the order of service reflects the unique life and personality of the person being remembered.
Creating the Order of Service That Reflects Your Loved One
One of the most important aspects of creating a funeral order of service is ensuring that it truly reflects the person who has passed away. This can be achieved in a variety of ways:
- Use of Photos: Including photos of the deceased can make the order of service more personal. These could be individual photos, a photo collage, or even a combination of both. You could also consider using drawings or other imagery that was significant to the person.
- Incorporating Personal Elements: Think about the deceased’s personality, values, and interests. You could use their favourite colour for the order of service, include imagery related to their hobbies or passions, or select a design style that reflects their personality. If they were an artist, consider including their artwork. If they loved to write, you could include some of their creative writing. Even recipes written in their handwriting can be a touching addition.
- Quotes: Including a quote that reflects something about the person can be a meaningful touch. This could be a favourite saying of theirs, a line from a poem or song they loved, or even a quote that you feel encapsulates their spirit.
The content of the order of service can be influenced by whether the funeral is religious or not. If the funeral is religious, there may be certain elements that need to be included, so it’s important to consult with the religious leader who will be conducting the ceremony. However, if the funeral is not religious, you have more flexibility to include whatever elements you feel are appropriate.
In the digital age, it’s also worth considering whether you might want to email attendees with an order of service in advance, particularly if the funeral is being webcast. This allows those who cannot attend in person to follow along with the service.
Creating a funeral order of service is a deeply personal and meaningful task. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the life of the person who has passed away and create a tribute that truly reflects them. While it can be a challenging task, particularly during a time of grief, it can also be a therapeutic process. Remember, there are no fixed rules – the most important thing is that the order of service feels right for you and the person you are remembering.