No one ever wants to be in a position where they find themselves arranging a funeral for a deceased partner, parent or other close relative or friend. But sadly, it is something many of us will eventually have to do, challenging us to put aside our grief to arrange a fitting memorial for our loved one.
A key part of any funeral arrangement is the order of service. This serves two purposes – it sets out a plan for exactly what will happen during the ceremony and, by being printed in a booklet, ensures everyone present can follow what is going on and join in.
For some people, creating an order of service takes on an added, personal significance. Rather than following a traditional, established ceremonial routine, they want to put their own mark on it. Perhaps your loved one made specific requests in life about what they would like at their own funeral – songs to be played or sung, poems or passages to be read out. Or perhaps you have your own ideas about how to shape the event to suit their personality in a fitting way.
When creating your own order of service, you have two main choices – either use a pre-written document as a template, adding your own details, or start from scratch and write your own entirely.
Freedom of choice
Using a template is a quicker and more straightforward option. Typically, you would simply edit a suggested programme with your own details – the name of the deceased, the time and place of the funeral, the name of the person leading the service plus anyone making any readings. You might also want to add details of the music to be played at the start and end, or add additional readings or songs through the course of the service.
Another benefit of using a template is that you will already have a layout and design for the final printed order of service booklets. With some online services available today, you can choose from a range of templates offering different visual themes for the final printed booklet, which you can customise by adding photographs of your loved one or similar.
If you have your heart set on creating your own order of service from scratch, the main benefit is that it gives you a considerable amount of freedom to do as you please. You can include whatever episodes you wish in the service, arrange them as you like, and also design the final booklet to your tastes.
For the sake of simplicity, it is perhaps best to work to a straightforward four-page booklet design – a piece of A4 paper folded in half. On the front, it makes sense to include all the details of the service – who it is for, their dates, the location and date of the service, perhaps a photograph and so on.
In terms of the details of the service itself, there really are no hard and fast rules as to what to include – certainly nothing you are obliged to have. The main thing to bear in mind is that the booklet is meant to help mourners follow the order of events, with details of music, songs, readings, speakers and performers included helping them feel involved in what is going on. If you are having hymns and prayers, it is helpful to print the words so everyone can join in.
By creating your order of service as a computer document, online digital printing services will nowadays let you upload your own order of service and print the finished booklets accordingly.
The post A Fitting Memorial: Creating an Order of Service for a Loved One appeared first on Silversurfers.