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Creating a Funeral Order of Service

Updated on June 1, 2014

When arranging a funeral for a loved one, making sure you include everyone and everything he or she wanted takes some planning. However, a funeral order of service can help with this task. This outline summarizes all the speakers, songs, readers and everything else involved in the funeral. It is then typically printed as part of a funeral program and distributed to guests as they arrive at the church or funeral home.

What to Include

Before you can even start drafting the order of service, you need to know exactly how the service will flow. The funeral director or church officiant can help put this together. Traditionally, in a nonreligious service, you want to include the following:

  • Entrance music
  • Opening remarks or introduction
  • Funeral poems
  • Eulogy or personal tribute
  • Additional songs, poems or readings
  • Committal of the deceased person
  • Final poems
  • Exit music

Religious funerals vary depending on the church's denomination. However, you will probably want to include the following, as specified by the church's minister or pastor:

  • Entrance hymn
  • Invocation or introduction by celebrant
  • Singing of appropriate hymn or reciting of Bible verse
  • Scripture readings that express the beliefs of the church and/or deceased person
  • Funeral address or eulogy (by celebrant or family member/friend -- or both)
  • Time for reflection (with or without accompanying music)
  • Funeral prayers by celebrant
  • Singing of hymn
  • Communion (in some religions)
  • Committal of deceased person
  • Closing blessing or benediction
  • Closing hymn
  • Exit hymn

Designing a Funeral Order of Service

With the use of funeral order of service templates, you can create your own outline for the ceremony. Typically single-fold documents, your loved one's image with his name and brief specifics about the service are on the cover. Inside, you can place the order of service, dividing it up between the two sides. On the back, an appropriate poem or song, details about funeral reception and words of acknowledgement from the family are usually printed.

You can buy and download the template from a professional template designer. As long as your computer and printer meet the system requirements, you can get working on this within minutes of ordering.

If you are creating this funeral order of service as part of a funeral program, you can also add brief biographical details about the deceased person, photographs, information about the funeral and burial, and names of the pallbearers and close family members.

Be Original

However, when you use templates, you can put whatever type of original information you want, as long as the funeral order of service is correct. You can include a scenic image or religious symbol for the cover and an original poem or story on the back. Whatever design you choose is up to you as long as it fits the deceased person's character and personality.


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