The Funeral Program
By Nicole Pang
So somehow you got the job, the god-awful job of
creating the program for the funeral service. Granted
this is supposed to be a golden opportunity for you to
honor grandma but somehow instead with just the thought
of it, you are filled with overwhelming emotions and
stress. Unfortunately Grandpa asked you (grandchild who
has two kids & a full-time job - you) and even though
you didn't really want to say yes - you loved your
Grannie too much to say "no." 24-Hours into agreeing to
this task, and countless Google searches later, you
realize you have got your work cut out for you.. and the
funeral director gave you no real information on what to
do.. or where to start.
So what are Memorial Funeral Programs anyway?
Memorial funeral programs highlight the key points of
the funeral service, summarize the life achievements &
capture the essence of your love one lost. It is the
first piece distributed to family & guests as they
arrive. Something they hold on to and cherish from the
moment they walk in to the chapel - it is a celebration
of your loved ones life and an important detail that no
memorial service should be without.
Memorial funeral programs typically include:
1. The funeral order of service
2. The family tree (usually just the immediate family)
sometimes pictures are included.
3. Photos of the deceased / birth & death date, place of
4. Obituary or your loved ones "story"
5. Funeral or bereavement poems
6. Scriptures or readings
7. Hymns or song lyrics
8. Thank-you messages & other special notes (ie.
Directions to the luncheon)
The order of service helps guests follow the order of
events happening during the service. Often, hymns &
scriptures are included so guests can sing or follow
along. I have found that including scriptures & lyrics
to hymns helps family & guests participate in the
service allowing everything to flow along smoothly.
The funeral program is also a great way to share your
favorite past and present photos of grandma. They can be
arranged in a Collage type format or strategically
placed throughout the entire program. Color and black &
white photographs remind guests and family of the life
grandma lived, the person she was, her smile, her
grace... often, when designed beautifully, guests keep
the program for years to come, and the memory of grandma
Funeral poems and scriptural verses can also be found
within funeral programs to help guests follow along with
the priest during readings. Take the time to meet with
grandma's closest friends & find out what scriptures or
poetry were meaningful to her. You'd be surprised how
having scriptures and poems in the program helps your
guests become more involved in the service. Priests also
appreciate that your guests can follow along as he
reads. Often, song & hymn lyrics are included as well.
This encourages everyone to follow and sing along with
organ player or music CD. Often the words of the songs
can be very powerful and will immediately connect
everyone together during this emotional time.
It is also a nice idea to include your loved one's story
in the funeral program. Take a minute to write-up a
brief paragraph or 3 about who she was, her
accomplishments, her family, her passions, etc. This
little story will remind family and friends of the
celebration of her life.. and trust me, grandpa will
Truth is, this is your program & you have the freedom to
include whatever you'd like. It can be as short or as
long as you see fit. Creating a beautifully designed
program will make an impact that will create a lasting
impression. However with all the details and planning
that goes into a funeral service, you might not have the
time, talent or resources to create a program from
scratch. There are great resources that can help take
care of all of this for you. All you need to do is fill
out a quick questionaire which will help you figure out
what will go in your program and then go on to picking
out your accompanying photos.
We know you really wanted to do it yourself, but often
times, purchasing a memorial funeral program can be a
big relief. It is cost effective and can save you time
and is emotionally the easy choice. Plus, a
professionally designed program will make an amazing
impact on your guests.
Click here for more info. on professionally designed
Funeral Memorial Programs