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Funeral order of service

A funeral service is a very personal event and people will often have different requirements. A funeral order of service booklet typically provides a schedule of the ceremony and can be given out to mourners as they arrive or sent to people who cannot attend.

The order of service may include hymns, songs, poems, readings, photographs, or anything else you would like added, creating a unique commemoration of someone's life. It can become a special memory of a loved one to keep forever; for you, your family, and friends who came to say goodbye. 

How to write a funeral order of service

This guide will explain how to write a funeral order of service and includes some useful ideas to help get you started.

What to include in a funeral order of service booklet:                          

Front cover

The front cover of an order of service booklet is usually kept quite simple. It will often include:

  • A photo of the deceased
  • Their full name
  • Date of birth and date of death
  • A short message or quote remembering them
  • Date, time and location of the service

When choosing a photo of your loved one, try and find one which reflects their personality. It’s best to use a photo which only focuses on the person being honoured, rather than a group photo.

You may wish to choose a recent or past photo, depending on personal preference and how you would like to remember them. It doesn’t have to be a serious photo either; many people often pick one which will raise a smile or fond memory when looking at the booklet in years to come.

If your loved one had any nicknames, these may also be included on the front cover of the booklet.

Schedule of the funeral service

The next couple of pages inside the booklet will often include the schedule of the funeral service, informing attendees what will happen throughout the ceremony. This will completely depend on your own preference and if you are being guided by whoever is conducting the service.

The service schedule may include:

  • Musical procession as attendees enter and take their seats (this could include the title of the song)
  • Introduction by whoever is conducting the service
  • Words to any songs or funeral hymns which are included in the service
  • Any readings, speeches or verses and the names of the individual speakers
  • Group prayers
  • Committal and blessing
  • Closing music (this could include the title of the song)

You don’t have to follow this exact schedule, though you may need to check the outline of the service with your chosen funeral director and the person who is conducting the service to ensure all your requirements are met.

Memories and treasured moments

Once you have decided on the schedule of the service, you can begin adding memories and treasured moments to the booklet. It can be as many pages as you like, but bear in mind that extra pages may incur additional print costs.

Many families personalise the booklet with extra photographs or choose their loved one’s favourite quotations, song lyrics or poems. You can even include a timeline of the person’s life, picking out key milestones and achievements such as their graduation, wedding day or retirement.

Final page

The final page or back cover of the order of service will often include another photograph of the deceased; this can be different to the one used on the front cover and may be a group or family photo.

It is also a good place to mention any preferred charities or organisations for donations. There may be a specific charity that was important to the deceased, so make sure you take this into consideration when choosing where the money will be donated to.

You may wish to express your thanks to those in attendance and to any friends or relatives who will receive a copy of the booklet but couldn’t attend the service itself. Finally, you could include the details and location of the wake, if you have chosen to have one.

Dignity's Funeral Notices service is a simple and convenient way to share the details of a funeral with friends and family via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Helping you make a special funeral order of service booklet

Our Funeral Arrangers will help make the funeral order of service booklet a special memento that you can cherish for years to come. We will coordinate with whoever is conducting the service and provide advice and guidance on a range of designs which can be tailored to suit your wishes.

Families will often talk through their requirements with the officiant when creating the order of service, as they will play a key role on the day of the funeral. If you wish to include a photograph of your loved one, or have chosen more than one photo to be used throughout the service sheet, we are more than happy to accommodate this for you.

Funeral stationery

In addition to an order of service booklet, you may wish to choose matching stationery. At Dignity, we offer a range of beautiful funeral stationery which can be personalised, creating a unique commemoration of your loved one’s life. We provide an exclusive choice of designs and all of our booklets are printed to a very high standard on quality card.

Our funeral stationery products include:

  • Order of service booklets
  • Books of condolence
  • Bookmarks
  • Memorial cards
  • Attendance cards
  • Religious and non-religious keepsake cards
  • Canvas prints
  • In memory pins

We will do everything we can to ensure that your needs are met and that you can arrange the funeral you want for your loved one. To discuss your funeral stationery requirements, please contact your local Dignity Funeral Director.

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