Preparing A Funeral Program

The passing of a loved one is never easy. Writing and preparing a funeral program can be incredibly challenging during such a difficult time. It is only natural that you would want to provide a heartfelt, beautiful funeral or memorial service. A service for family and friends to honour and pay tribute to someone so special.

Funerals should be as unique as the individual being remembered. It should be a ceremony that reflects personal values, interest, and experiences – all the things that form the loved one’s story.

A funeral order of service booklet is important to help family and friends navigate through the funeral or memorial service. It can also serve as a keepsake to remember a loved one – a way to share special memories and photos.

Some important elements of a funeral program are:

  1. Front Cover – Name, Dates, Special Photo
  2. Inside Left – Poem, Quote, Scripture, Photos
  3. Inside Right – Order of Service
  4. Back – Obituary and/or Thank You Note

The number of pages of your funeral program will be dependent on the option or type of service you are wanting to hold for your loved one.   If you are wanting to add the text of the readings, prayers etc you may want to consider a multi-page book such as an 8-page option.

If you are considering a traditional funeral in a church. Usually, the church minister or the funeral officiate gives instructions about how the service will be conducted. They can ensure that their particular service protocol is followed. Make sure to coordinate with church officials as soon as possible. This will help ensure that any specific and personalized requests can be incorporated into the services.

A traditional funeral order of service may include the following:

  • Musical Prelude
  • Introduction/Words of Welcome
  • Prayers
  • Scripture Readings
  • Musical Selections/Hymns
  • Formal Reading of Obituary
  • Eulogy/Life Tribute
  • Thank you and Acknowledgements
  • Closing/Benediction

For a non-traditional order of service (funeral and memorials) an example may be:

  • Entrance Song
  • Words of Welcome/Introduction
  • Reading
  • Eulogy
  • Life Tribute
  • Poem
  • Thank You and Acknowledgements
  • Farewell Song

Once the order of the service has been finalised it is time to create the booklet.  Selecting a predesigned editable funeral program template is an easy option to create a high quality and memorable tribute. 

Many designs are available that offer free user-friendly software. Creating a quality booklet or program that fits with your loved one’s personality is now affordable, simple and stress-free.

If you are needing inspiration for poems and quote’s I have compiled a selection below:

Those We Love 
Those we love don’t go away, 
They walk beside us everyday. 
Unseen, unheard but always near,
Still loved, still missed, and very dear. 
Wishing us hope in the midst of sorrow, 
Offering comfort in the midst of pain, 
both today and tomorrow.
All Is Well  -  by Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Remember Me – Margaret Mead
To the living, I am gone,
To the sorrowful, I will never return,
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea,
As you look upon a flower and admire simplicity
Remember me.
Remember me in your heart:
Your thoughts, and your memories,
Of the times we cried,
The times we fought,
The times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.
Afterglow – Helen Lowrie Marshall
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
She Is Gone (He is Gone) – David Harkins
You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you cannot see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
When I‘m Gone – Mosiah Lyman Hancock
When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile
Forget unkind words I have spoken
Remember some good I have done
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I’ve had loads of fun
Forget that I’ve stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day
Then forget to grieve for my going
I would not have you sad for a day
But in summer just father some flowers
And remember the place where I lay
And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.
As Long As Hearts Remember
As long as hearts remember
As long as hearts still care
We do not part with those we love
They’re with us everywhere.
The Best and Most Beautiful Things In the World – Helen Keller
The best and most beautiful
Things in the world cannot
Be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.
A Silent Tear
Just close your eyes and you will see
All the memories that you have of me
Just sit and relax and you will find
I’m really still there inside your mind.
Don’t cry for me now I’m gone
For I am in the land of song
There is no pain, there is no fear
So dry away that silent tear.
Don’t think of me in the dark and cold
For here I am, no longer old
I’m in that place that’s filled with love
Known to you all, as “up above”.
I Am Free – Shannon Lee Moseley
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand and when I heard Him call,
I turned by back and left it all.
I could not stay another day, to laugh,
To love, to work or play.
Tasks undone must stay that way
I’ve found that peace at the close of the day.
If parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wants me now, He set me free.
If I Should Go Tomorrow
If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don’t you ever cry.
The love that’s deep within me,
Shall reach you from the stars,
You’ll feel it from the heavens,
And it will heal the scars.
I’m There Inside Your Heart  
Right now I’m in a different place
And though we seem apart
I’m closer than I ever was,
I’m there inside your heart.
I’m with you when you greet each day
And while the sun shines bright
I’m there to share the sunsets, too
I’m with you every night.
I’m with you when the times are good
To share a laugh or two,
And if a tear should start to fall
I’ll still be there for you.
And when that day arrives
That we no longer are apart
I’ll smile and hold you close to me,
Forever in my heart.

Preparing a funeral program - Quotes

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for
that which has been your delight.  - Kahlil Gibran
Those we do not hold in our arms,
we can always hold in our hearts.

To some you may be forgotten,
to others a part of the past,
but to me who loved you dearly,
your memories will always last.
Nothing can be more beautiful
than the memories I have of you,
to me, you were someone special,
others thought so too.

You are not forgotten nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memories last,
I will remember thee.

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven
where the love of our lost ones pours through
and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.  -  Eskimo Proverb

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.  - Thomas Campbell

And this poem is because you might just want to reflect the love and personality of someone with a sense of humour who had a wonderful take on life. (Shhh…Keeping in the must-have quotes for my husband).

Pardon Me For Not Getting Up
Oh dear, if you’re reading this right now,
I must have given up the ghost.
I hope you can forgive me for being
Such a stiff and unwelcoming host.
Just talk amongst yourself my friends,
And share a toast or two.
For I am sure you will remember well
How I loved to drink with you.
Don’t worry about mourning me,
I was never easy to offend.
Feel free to share a story at my expense
And we’ll have a good laugh at the end.
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