We often get asked how to write a Funeral Order of Service, so we have created this post to assist you. An Order of Service is much more than just a list of hymns and poems. It can be a fitting tribute to your loved one, a keepsake for family and friends who attend the funeral service and a memento for those unable to attend on the day.

The Order of Service contributes to the lasting memory of your loved one and can be kept for years after the service, therefore it makes sense to invest the time to make sure it is perfect. To help, we have made up the guide below to assist with creating the perfect tribute, allowing you to tailor your Order of Service to be as unique and special as the person it’s celebrating.

Funeral Order of Service

Selecting the Template or Design

Selecting the perfect design is very important. This will set the tone for the service and reflect the personality of your loved one. Template designs can vary from traditional to modern and contain floral, patterned or illustrated motifs.  By using a professionally designed template you can produce a beautiful design by simply adding your text and images. We have a range of templates that have been crafted by our graphic designers to select from. Alternatively, we can create something truly bespoke based on your requirements.


The front page of the Order of Service booklet

The first page is the cover of the Order of Service and it is best to keep it simple. You can include all of the following details, or fewer if you would prefer:

  • The full name of your loved one
  • A photograph
  • The date they were born and passed away, (dates should be written in the following format, 1st January 2018)
  • The date, time and location of the service
  • A short message or epitaph

The Photograph

Selecting a photograph for the front cover can be an opportunity for family and friends to get together and go through old photographs. It is best to try and pick a photo where your loved one is the main subject, but don’t worry if there are others in the photo as you can crop them out. It is also an ideal time to remember the personality and character of your loved one. If you have more than one photograph selected as you can always add additional photographs throughout the Order of Service. If possible, when scanning the image, scan at a high-quality setting, for example, 300dpi. We always check the images before printing and our system will warn you when an image that has too low a resolution for printing.

Inside pages of the Order of Service booklet

The inside pages include the funeral service information and can be anything from two pages up to ten (or more) depending on the length of the service. If you would like to include additional photographs on the inside of the booklet make sure you have enough pages to do so. The ceremony will be a personal choice and there is no exact format to follow. Usually, the person conducting the service will assist with the running order and what should be included.

Here is an example of a Funeral Order of Service:

  • Entrance Music
  • Introduction and Welcome by the Celebrant
  • Hymn, Prayer or Verse
  • Reading
  • A Funeral Address or Appreciation of the life
  • Eulogy
  • Hymn, Prayer or Verse
  • Commendation & Farewell
  • Committal
  • Dismissal and Blessing
  • Exit Music

The back page of the Order of Service booklet

If you have chosen a recent picture of your loved one on the front page it can be nice to add an older photograph(s) of them on the back or vice versa.

You can also add a word of thanks from the family, direct family and friends to a charity for donations in memory, as well as an invitation to a wake or refreshments after the service.

Here is some example wording for the back page, which you can either copy and paste or edit to suit:

The family would like to thank everyone for attending today.

Donations in memory of [name] will be most gratefully received for [charity].

Refreshments will be held at the [location] to which you are warmly invited.

The family would like to thank you for coming today and all the kind messages of sympathy received at this sad time.

Donations if desired in memory of [name] will go to [charity].

Following this service you are all welcome to share further memories of [name] over refreshments at [location].

The family thank you for attending and appreciate your kind messages of condolence.

Please join us for refreshments at [location].

If you so wish, donations in [name]’s memory would be welcome for [charity].

Organising the printing

Once you have decided on content for your Order of Service it is also worthwhile having them professionally printed, as these can be kept as keepsakes for years to come. By using a luxury thick card that is creased and folded, each booklet will have a uniform finish. The quality of the print is also very important to make the photographs and text look sharp.

Funeral Hymn Sheets can help you create your Order of Service in a timely and sympathetic manner. We have a range of professionally designed templates to select from and being a family-run printing company, trading since 1975, means you can be sure the printed booklets will be of the best quality. Free next working day delivery ensures you receive your order promptly. Download templates are also available to print at home or locally.

Call us on 0141 3512 6800 or contact us