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Creating an Order of Service for a funeral

Funerals are very personal and unique events and by creating an Order of Service that is personalised, you can pay tribute to the person who has died. As the funeral approaches, how do you create an Order of Service?

Here is everything you need to know about creating an Order of Service for a funeral, either with help from your Funeral Director or by yourself.

1. What is an Order of Service?

An Order of Service for a funeral is usually a booklet that shows attendees what will happen during the service. It will include a running order along with photos of the person that has died, readings, hymns or poems.

Orders of Service are usually handed out to the attendees at the church or crematorium and can be posted out to those that cannot attend the funeral service in person.

2. What should be included in an Order of Service?

Every Order of Service will be different, if it is to be personalised to the person that has died. However the basic information will always be included as follows:

  • Name of the person that has died;
  • Date of birth and date of death;
  • Address of funeral service - the church and crematorium;
  • If there is to be an interment or committal after the funeral service;
  • The time and date of the funeral;
  • Who will conduct the funeral;
  • If there are to be donations and the charity name;
  • Details of the funeral director;
  • Details of the funeral wake.

3. How to create an Order of Service?

Your Funeral Director can help you create an Order of Service, which you can then adapt and tweak to meet your requirements, especially if you are unsure what to include in an Order of Service for a funeral. Alternatively you can design your own.

Your Funeral Director will have asked you for photos and information regarding the person that has died so they can create the Service Sheet.

All funeral Orders of Service need;

  • A Front Cover - this will generally include the photo of the person that has died, their name and possibly their nickname, the date of their birth and date and the funeral service time and date.
  • A Schedule of the Service - the inside pages of the Order of Service will generally show the running order of the funeral. This will include all music chosen to be played during the funeral, a welcome from the person conducting the service, any readings or poems, the committal and a blessing.
  • Goodbye - the back page of the Order of Service allows you to draw the funeral service to a close. It can include additional photos of the person that has died, thank people for their sympathy shown, details of the funeral wake can be included along with details for the donations to charity.

Tom Owen and Son will always let you review the Order of Service before it is printed, and will allow you to make as many necessary changes as you need. We will also ask the officiant to review.

4. Tips for creating a personalised Order of Service.

What photo should I choose for the Order of Service is a common question we are asked, as Funeral Directors. We always say that it can be a recent photo of the person that has died or a photo from earlier in their life.

Tom Owen and Son believe that the best photo's for the Order of Service are those that really show the personality of the person that has died. Perhaps it is a photo of them laughing, or one of them in their work uniform if their job meant something to them. The photo should always only be of the person who has died, and we can help with cropping other people out of the image if needed.

Remember that if there are more pages within the order of service, whether created by your funeral director or printed by a professional printing company, there may be additional costs incurred.

You can add further information about the person who has died to really personalise a Service Sheet. This could include extra photos, stories of their life, a timeline or quotes about the person that has died.

Keep the font legible and clear. You will be catering to a vast audience to it needs to be easy to read.

Keep the order of service simple. Too much info and you risk it looking messy and cluttered. It's also worth sticking to one style throughout the Service Sheet.

5. Other funeral stationery ideas

In addition to an Order of Service, you may choose to have additional items of funeral stationery. These may include attendance cards, bookmarks, prints of the person that has died, badges, wildflower seeds, sweets or biscuits and other mementos.