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:
- Front Cover – Name, Dates, Special Photo
- Inside Left – Poem, Quote, Scripture, Photos
- Inside Right – Order of Service
- 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
- Scripture Readings
- Musical Selections/Hymns
- Formal Reading of Obituary
- Eulogy/Life Tribute
- Thank you and Acknowledgements
For a non-traditional order of service (funeral and memorials) an example may be:
- Entrance Song
- Words of Welcome/Introduction
- Life Tribute
- 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.