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.

Use 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
  • 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.

Extra 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 :

  1. Abide With Me
  2. All The Way My Saviour Leads Me
  3. All Things Bright And Beautiful
  4. All Through The Night
  5. Alleluia, Sing To Jesus!
  6. Amazing Grace
  7. Be Not Afraid
  8. Be Still, My Soul
  9. Be Thou My Vision
  10. Beautiful Valley Of Eden
  11. Beyond The Sunset’s Radiant Glow
  12. Blest Are The Pure In Heart
  13. Crossing The Bar
  14. Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind
  15. Death Is Only A Dream
  16. Eternal Father, Strong To Save
  17. For All The Saints Who From Their Labours Rest
  18. God Be With You
  19. Going Home
  20. Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  21. Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer
  22. How Great Thou Art
  23. How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds
  24. I Am The Bread Of Life
  25. I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say
  26. I Watch The Sunrise
  27. Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
  28. In Heavenly Love Abiding
  29. Jerusalem
  30. Jesu, Lover Of My Soul
  31. Jesus Lives, Thy Terrors Now
  32. Just As I Am, Without One Plea
  33. Lead Kindly Light
  34. Lead Us, Heavenly Father
  35. Lead Us, Heavenly Father, Lead Us
  36. Lord Of All Hopefulness
  37. Love Divine
  38. Love’s Redeeming Work Is Done
  39. Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
  40. Meet Me There
  41. Morning Has Broken
  42. My God Accept My Heart This Day
  43. Nearer My God To Thee
  44. Now Thank We All Our God
  45. Now The Green Blade Rises
  46. O God, Our Help In Ages Past
  47. O Jesus I Have Promised
  48. O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
  49. Old Rugged Cross
  50. Peace, Perfect Peace
  51. Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven
  52. Rock Of Ages
  53. The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended
  54. The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
  55. The Lord’s My Shepherd
  56. The Strife Is O’er
  57. There Is A Green Hill Far Away
  58. There Is A Redeemer
  59. Thine Be The Glory
  60. To God Be The Glory
  61. When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
  62. Will Your Anchor Hold

A selection of popular funeral prayers.