Guide for Funeral Order of Service Design

Order of service for a funeral is a lot more than just putting together an itinerary. Work together with your friends and family choose the photos, messages and sentiments that symbolise someone close to all. Deciding together the best way to celebrated life to a larger circle of friends and acquaintances. For those who are unable to attend the ceremony, a funeral order of service is the next best thing to actually being there.

Traditionally, lots of funeral leaflets have been double-sided A4 pages folded in half. But these days, we see more families choosing A5 booklets with as many as 8, 12 or in some cases as much as 20 pages. With this extra space, you’ll be able to include all of your favourite photos to represent every aspect of the personality and life of the person being remembered and as a lasting keepsake for the mourners and relatives who can’t attend, a longer booklet gives them more photos, sentiments and memories to look back on.Choose one style and be consistent throughout and if you’re struggling with the visual side of things, we’re happy to help out with a few designs of our own.

Choose a font that’s easy to read.

Don’t be afraid to add colour

A Selection of Popular Funeral Hymns and Prayers can be found at the bottom of the page.


The Cover page

Funeral booklets will have a front page that contains.

  • A photo of the remembered person
  • Their full legal name
  • Their birth date and the date of their death
  • An optional short message, quotation or sentiment – or sometimes just the location and time of the service.

It’s best to keep things simple. The photo you choose should be one that’s simple. You can group photos that capture a happy memories, but a solo photo is normally best. Don’t feel that the photo on the cover page has to be serious choose one that best fits their memory. When your friends and family pick up the booklet years later, it’s no bad thing if they see a memory that makes them smile.

The service

The next pages are where you’ll find the schedule of the ceremony itself , telling those attending what will happen and what to expect. There’s no strict format or order to follow, but the service might include:

  • A musical procession as the mourners enter and assemble.
  • An introduction from your community leader or a particular speaker.
  • Music, songs, hymns or poems. The specific hymns or scripture verses are usually listed for reference, and highlighted in bold.
  • Readers and speakers recalling memories of the honoured person – these speakers are usually named in the order of service.
  • Group prayers, hymns or music.
  • Committal and blessing.
  • Closing music. The music at both the beginning and the end can be named in the booklet for attendees who aren’t familiar with the selection.

Check the outline of the service with the director of the ceremony before you go to print. Depending on the venue or the place of worship, they’ll often have a particular way of running things.

Add some detail

Add some extra insights into the life of the person being celebrated. That could mean creating a collage of different snapshots from their life, or writing down a few of their favourite quotations, proverbs or scripture verses. Anything that you want people to remember when they think about the person who was close to you, just like the front cover photo it doesn’t hurt to make them smile.A timeline of the person’s life, picking out a few of the most important events and marking the dates with photos where they have them – graduation ceremonies, their wedding day, and a few milestone birthdays, for example is also an option.

Back page

It’s customary to include a photo of the person being remembered – perhaps a group photo with their family or friends, or in a photo that shows a different side of their character to the ones you’ve used earlier.List any preferred charities for donations. That could be the cause that was most important to the person being honoured, or maybe a charity that helped and cared for them during their later years.Express your thanks to those who attended the service, and to extend your warm wishes to your more distant friends and relatives who received a copy of the booklet but couldn’t attend the ceremony itself.Location of the burial and the wake or reception that’s to follow the service, so  mourners know where to go and what to do next.

Top tips…

● Keep the overall design simple and uncluttered
● Use easy-to-read fonts at a good size
● Choose colour photos that best capture the character of the remembered person
● Give enough information for both types of reader – those who are attending, and those who can’t make it.

A selection of popular Funeral Hymns

The song lyrics :

  • Abide With Me
  • All The Way My Saviour Leads Me
  • All Things Bright And Beautiful
  • All Through The Night
  • Alleluia, Sing To Jesus!
  • Amazing Grace
  • Be Not Afraid
  • Be Still, My Soul
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • Beautiful Valley Of Eden
  • Beyond The Sunset’s Radiant Glow
  • Blest Are The Pure In Heart
  • Crossing The Bar
  • Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind
  • Death Is Only A Dream
  • Eternal Father, Strong To Save
  • For All The Saints Who From Their Labours Rest
  • God Be With You
  • Going Home
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer
  • How Great Thou Art
  • How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds
  • I Am The Bread Of Life
  • I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say
  • I Watch The Sunrise
  • Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
  • In Heavenly Love Abiding
  • Jerusalem
  • Jesu, Lover Of My Soul
  • Jesus Lives, Thy Terrors Now
  • Just As I Am, Without One Plea
  • Lead Kindly Light
  • Lead Us, Heavenly Father
  • Lead Us, Heavenly Father, Lead Us
  • Lord Of All Hopefulness
  • Love Divine
  • Love’s Redeeming Work Is Done
  • Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
  • Meet Me There
  • Morning Has Broken
  • My God Accept My Heart This Day
  • Nearer My God To Thee
  • Now Thank We All Our God
  • Now The Green Blade Rises
  • O God, Our Help In Ages Past
  • O Jesus I Have Promised
  • O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
  • Old Rugged Cross
  • Peace, Perfect Peace
  • Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven
  • Rock Of Ages
  • The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended
  • The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd
  • The Strife Is O’er
  • There Is A Green Hill Far Away
  • There Is A Redeemer
  • Thine Be The Glory
  • To God Be The Glory
  • When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
  • Will Your Anchor Hold

A selection of popular funeral prayers.