Our guide to designing an Order of Service
If you have found this page on our website because someone close to you has died, we are sorry for your loss. We hope this guide may help you in planning and designing an order of service. A very helpful website is www.funeralguide.co.uk
Putting together a Funeral Order of Service is much more than just the order of the event. We’ll take a look at what should the details that should be included, making it more personal, as well as the materials you should use.
Designing a Funeral Order of Service can be a difficult thing to do but it is also an opportunity to work together with close family and friends. Choosing images that best represent the person you are celebrating often leads to discussing memories and stories you may never have heard before. Talk about favourite poems, readings and hymns to find those that best express how you felt about the person.
It may not seem like a big thing in the midst of funeral planning, but the Funeral Order of Service is a unique keepsake. Often it is kept as a reminder of the day and for those who cannot attend, it is a connection to others who are mourning with them.
The Front Cover of a Funeral Order of Service
It is usually best to keep the front cover simple. Choose an image that focuses on the person being honoured and save group and family photos for the inner pages. Whilst funerals are almost always a sombre affair, the image you choose should reflect the person. When the booklet is picked up in years to come, the image should be one that evokes fond, happy memories.
- Main photo
- Full Name & Known/Nickname if different
- Date of Funeral
- Dates of Birth and Death
- Location and Time
Outlining the Order of Events in a Funeral Order of Service
There are many different formats and the person leading the service will be able to guide you on the ceremony. Often you will be able to choose what to include and leave out but here is a general outline.
- Entrance Music – Usually the name of the Music and the Artist or Composer.
- Introduction – From the Minister/Celebrant or Lead Speaker.
- Readings and Poems – Usually printed in full. This is for those who cannot attend, and is nice to have for memories.
- Hymns – Printed in full so that everyone can join in.
- Speakers – Usually named in order, close family and friends recalling memories and sharing stories.
- Comittal and Blessings
- Group Prayers if applicable.
- Closing Music – Usually the name of the Music and the Artist or Composer.
The Back Page of a Funeral Order of Service
The final page usually includes an image, this is often a more playful or older image from when the person was younger.
You should put details of any preferred Charities for whom donations are being collected. This is often a Charity close to the heart or who may have cared for the person towards the end of their life.
This is a perfect place to express your thanks to those who have attended and been involved in the service. As well as extending your wishes to those who are cannot attend, but are holding you in their thoughts.
Details of the wake should be included on the back cover so that people know where they are expected to go, include the full address.
The Funeral Company
The Funeral company are often mentioned on the final page, although this is entirely at your discretion. It is a kind thing to do, especially if they have gone above what you expected of them.
Making a Funeral Order of Service Personal
Once you have included all the details you need for the ceremony you can look at making the booklet more personalised.
Hopefully you will have a wide range of images. These could be arranged in a collage, utilising all available space and including shots from all ages and with many groups of people.
Often we have been asked to help people display a timeline of their loved ones life. This often includes important dates with accompanying images. Birth, accomplishments, marriage, children etc.
Favourite Sayings, Verses or a Personal Note.
This is a lovely time to share the deceased’s favourite sayings or even a short note from them to those whom they have left behind. You should include the things you want people to think of when remembering the person you are celebrating.
A Funeral Order of Service should be as unique as the person it is celebrating.
The Design of a Funeral Order of Service
Traditionally, Funeral Order of Services have been a single sheet of card folded in half to create 4 pages. Now that funerals have become much more bespoke and people have a much larger range of images they are more often 8 pages. Although, we often do booklets of 12 pages depending on the type of funeral, religion and amount of content people wish to share.
The extra pages allow you to choose more images that represent a wider spectrum of the person’s life and makes a wonderful keepsake.
Choosing a Style
It is best to choose a style and stick to it from the start. Think about the person you are creating it for and their style.
Black plain or ornate borders on the cover, often with a religious symbol. Light, soft images of white flowers and softened edges on photos.
Bright colours, minimalist design, include things they loved such as flowers can be included
Many people follow football, rugby or cricket teams their entire lives and including their team colours can be a fitting tribute to their passion.
If you are struggling to make it look as polished as you would like, please get in touch and we can always help. From a a few tweaks to the full design.
The Print Options for a Funeral Order of Service
Choosing the Material for your Funeral Order of Service
There needs to be careful judgement here between lightweight paper which is most economical, or heavier paper and a card cover which will hugely increase the longevity and feels much higher quality.
Depending on the amount of pages we recommend:
4 Pages – 250gsm satin Card, or 350gsm silk.
8 Pages – 250gsm satin card cover and 100gsm Inners, or 350gsm silk with 100gsm inners.
12+ Pages – 250gsm satin card cover, 100gsm Inners, or 350gsm silk cover with 100gsm inners.
Black and White, or Colour?
There is no longer a large cost difference between black and white printing or colour printing unless you are printing a very large quantity. However the impact can be huge – especially with the beautiful, high resolution images now available.
It is tempting to choose ornate, calligrapjhy style fonts when designing your Funeral Order of Service, however these can be very difficult to read. If you choose to use ornate fonts, use them sparingly – ideally just on the name on the front cover. The rest of the booklet should be in a clear easy to read font – ideally no smaller than 11 point.
Try to stick to a small colour palette, perhaps choose one accent colour from your main image and use alongside cream or grey. Too many bright colours can look garish if not designed with care.
It can be very difficult to stay organised and get everything done during a stressful time. Write a bullet point list and methodically work your way through. If you need other people to supply photo’s or messages ask them as early as you can.
From a design perspective remember to:
Choose legible fonts for anything other than the name.
Keep the design simple and tidy so people focus on the photos.
Choose a photo for the front that focuses on the deceased and save group shots for the inner pages.
Ensure all info – dates, locations, contact numbers, have been double checked.
If you are finding it difficult please get in touch and we will look after the Funeral Order of Service for you. This can be done via phone, email or if you would like you can pop in to see us and feel the material yourself.
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