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How to design a Funeral Order of Service

Two Funeral Booklets

 

If you have found this page because someone close to you has died, we are sorry for your loss. We hope this guide may help you in planning and designing an order of service. A very helpful website is www.funeralguide.co.uk

 

Putting together a Funeral Order of Service is much more than just the order of the event. We'll take a look at what should the details that should be included, making it more personal, as well as the materials you should use.

Designing a Funeral Order of Service can be a difficult thing to do but it is also an opportunity to work together with close family and friends. Choosing images that best represent the person you are celebrating often leads to discussing memories and stories you may never have heard before. Talk about favourite poems, readings and hymns to find those that best express how you felt about the person.

 

It may not seem like a big thing in the midst of funeral planning, but the Funeral Order of Service is a unique keepsake. Often it is kept as a reminder of the day and for those who cannot attend, it is a connection to others who are mourning with them.

 

The Front Cover of a Funeral Order of Service

It is usually best to keep the front cover simple. Choose an image that focuses on the person being honoured and save group and family photos for the inner pages. Whilst funerals are almost always a sombre affair, the image you choose should reflect the person. When the booklet is picked up in years to come, the image should be one that evokes fond, happy memories.

The Details

  • Main photo
  • Full Name & Known/Nickname if different
  • Date of Funeral
  • Dates of Birth and Death
  • Location and Time
     

Outlining the Order of Events in a Funeral Order of Service

There are many different formats and the person leading the service will be able to guide you on the ceremony. Often you will be able to choose what to include and leave out but here is a general outline.

  • Entrance Music – Usually the name of the Music and the Artist or Composer.
  • Introduction – From the Minister/Celebrant or Lead Speaker.
  • Readings and Poems – Usually printed in full. This is for those who cannot attend, and is nice to have for memories.
  • Hymns – Printed in full so that everyone can join in.
  • Speakers – Usually named in order, close family and friends recalling memories and sharing stories.
  • Comittal and Blessings
  • Group Prayers if applicable.
  • Closing Music – Usually the name of the Music and the Artist or Composer.

 

 

The Back Page of a Funeral Order of Service

The final page usually includes an image, this is often a more playful or older image from when the person was younger.

Donations

You should put details of any preferred Charities for whom donations are being collected. This is often a Charity close to the heart or who may have cared for the person towards the end of their life.

Thank You

This is a perfect place to express your thanks to those who have attended and been involved in the service. As well as extending your wishes to those who are cannot attend, but are holding you in their thoughts.

The Wake

Details of the wake should be included on the back cover so that people know where they are expected to go, include the full address.

The Funeral Company

The Funeral company are often mentioned on the final page, although this is entirely at your discretion. It is a kind thing to do, especially if they have gone above what you expected of them.

 

 

Making a Funeral Order of Service Personal

Once you have included all the details you need for the ceremony you can look at making the booklet more personalised.

Images

Hopefully you will have a wide range of images. These could be arranged in a collage, utilising all available space and including shots from all ages and with many groups of people.

Timelines

Often we have been asked to help people display a timeline of their loved ones life. This often includes important dates with accompanying images. Birth, accomplishments, marriage, children etc.

Favourite Sayings, Verses or a Personal Note.

This is a lovely time to share the deceased's favourite sayings or even a short note from them to those whom they have left behind. You should include the things you want people to think of when remembering the person you are celebrating.

 

A Funeral Order of Service should be as unique as the person it is celebrating.

 

The Design of a Funeral Order of Service

Traditionally, Funeral Order of Services have been a single sheet of card folded in half to create 4 pages. Now that funerals have become much more bespoke and people have a much larger range of images they are more often 8 pages. Although, we often do booklets of over 20 pages depending on the type of funeral, religion and amount of content people wish to share.

The extra pages allow you to choose more images that represent a wider spectrum of the person's life and makes a wonderful keepsake.

Choosing a Style

It is best to choose a style and stick to it from the start. Think about the person you are creating it for and their style.

Traditional

Black plain or ornate borders on the cover, often with a religious symbol. Light, soft images of white flowers and softened edges on photos.

Modern

Bright colours, minimalist design, include things they loved such as flowers can be included

Team Colours

Many people follow football, rugby or cricket teams their entire lives and including their team colours can be a fitting tribute to their passion.


If you are struggling to make it look as polished as you would like, please get in touch and we can always help. From a a few tweaks to the full design.

 

The Print Options for a Funeral Order of Service

Choosing the Material for your Funeral Order of Service

There needs to be careful judgement here between lightweight paper which is most economical, or heavier paper and a card cover which will hugely increase the longevity and feels much higher quality.

Depending on the amount of pages we recommend:

4 Pages – 350gsm Card, in either Uncoated or Silk finish

8 Pages – 300gsm Card Cover and 150gsm Inners, in either Uncoated or Silk finish

16+ Pages – 250gsm Card Cover, 130gsm Inners, in either Uncoated or Silk finish

 

Black and White, or Colour?

There is no longer a large cost difference between black and white printing or colour printing unless you are printing a very large quantity. However the impact can be huge – especially with the beautiful, high resolution images now available.

Choosing Fonts

It is tempting to choose ornate, calligrapjhy style fonts when designing your Funeral Order of Service, however these can be very difficult to read. If you choose to use ornate fonts, use them sparingly – ideally just on the name on the front cover. The rest of the booklet should be in a clear easy to read font – ideally no smaller than 11 point.

Choosing Colours

Try to stick to a small colour palette, perhaps choose one accent colour from your main image and use alongside cream or grey. Too many bright colours can look garish if not designed with care.

 

Overview

It can be very difficult to stay organised and get everything done during a stressful time. Write a bullet point list and methodically work your way through. If you need other people to supply photo's or messages ask them as early as you can.

From a design perspective remember to:

Choose legible fonts for anything other than the name.

Keep the design simple and tidy so people focus on the photos.

Choose a photo for the front that focuses on the deceased and save group shots for the inner pages.

Ensure all info – dates, locations, contact numbers, have been double checked.

 

If you are finding it difficult please get in touch and we will look after the Funeral Order of Service for you. This can be done via phone, email or if you would like you can pop in to see us and feel the material yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing a Funeral Order of Service

Creating the order of service can help you to gather your thoughts and think about how the funeral should be. You will need to make some important decisions while writing the text for funeral order of service printing.


Funeral

Practical Arrangements

It is usually easiest to begin with the practical arrangements. Before you can arrange funeral order of service printing you will need to have the following information:

  • Where and when the service will be held
  • Who the officiant will be, which may be determined by your choice of location
  • The arrangements for the burial or cremation
  • The arrangements for the reception after the funeral
  • Whether you will be accepting flowers or donations to a charity

The Funeral Service

In addition to deciding on the practical arrangements, you will need to think about the content before arranging funeral order of service printing. The order of service will guide people through the funeral, so it will need to include details such as the words to the hymns. Deciding on what to include can be very emotional. The deceased person may have left some instructions, but friends and family members may also have their own suggestions to make. The officiant can also provide valuable guidance, especially if you are planning a traditional service. In order to write the funeral order of service you will need to decide on the following:

  • What type of service you will be having, for example whether it religious or non-religious, traditional or modern, formal or informal
  • Which hymns, readings, poems or prayers will be included in the service
  • Who will be giving the funeral eulogy
  • Any additional details such as other people who will be involved in the service

In addition to the practical information about the funeral and the content of the service, you may also want to include some personal touches. The order of service can help everyone to remember the deceased person and to celebrate their life.

How to Write a Perfect Order of Service – Part 1

Order of services illustrated

Let’s face it; we all like a bit of a lie in every now again.  It breaks the routine of early mornings and lets us recharge.  But the truth is that humans need a schedule or we start feeling a little lost.  That is the very reason we don’t sleep in every day, and why we like to receive an order of service at a wedding or event of sorts.

 

Our tendency towards schedules also makes order of services quite important.  Plan yours incorrectly, leave out vital information, or just make a few design errors and your whole event could quickly become a comedy of errors.

 

Because of this we would like to walk you through the whole design process from the planning phase to the order of service printing.

 

Tip of a fountain pen


What to Include in an Order of Service for a Wedding

 

Before you start on the actual design for your order of service you have to decide which information is important enough to be included and which information can be left out.  After all, you don’t want to end up with a textbook-sized document that is drier than dust.

 

Every wedding is different, obviously, since different couples have different tastes.  But, that being said, a typical order of service for a wedding will contain the following:

 

  • Title Page: This is a simple page of text stating the names of the couple, the date, and sometimes the location of the ceremony.  This information is usually just for posterity, since everyone already knows the date and location of the ceremony from the wedding invitations, and most of the guests should know the couple.  
  • Procession music: This usually details the name of the song/piece and the composer.
  • Readings: List any readings which may be done during the ceremony.  You’ll need to list the name of the verse or poem, the name of the author, and the person doing the reading.
  • Hymns/Songs: If any songs are to be sung at the wedding only their titles need to be listed, but listing the composers or artists responsible for them is a nice touch.  It is a good idea to include the lyrics, but more on that later.
  • Declaratory words: These are the opening words of the ceremony.
  • Ceremony:  This will include the ceremony and vows.
  • Signing of the register: This is self-explanatory and doesn’t require an explanation in the order of events.  However, you might want to let the guests know if they should stay for this or start to leave the venue.
  • Recessional music:  This is the music that plays as the couple leaves the venue.  Again, the name of the piece and the composer should be listed.


An Order of Service for Every Event

 

While the above pointers might be specific to a wedding, this basic format can be adapted to any event.  As long as you think carefully about which information to include and which to leave out, you can’t go wrong.

 

Be sure to check back in for Part 2 of this look at order of services in which we’ll detail exactly how much information is appropriate for a perfect order of service.