Funeral Order of Service

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Funeral order of service outline

What do you include in a funeral order of service? Well planning the funeral order of service outline is a good idea to get started. Thankfully, most of us won’t have to think about this task very often in our lives, but that presents a challenge when the time does arise. What are the things to include, is there a standard number of images, what about the formatting?

It’s my aim to offer a helping hand and show some examples of funeral order of service, throughout this guide I’ll share a link to a guide for families I put together, you are most welcome to download and examine, you won’t have to leave your email address in exchange for the guide, I just hope you find the information useful.

My name is Tim Thompson and I design and print funeral order of service for families all over the UK, over the years I’ve had the privilege to compile lots of different types of service outlines, and there are often some common factors, I’ll list them in this article with some images too.

You might have a specific question, so use the quick guide below, click the link and it’ll jump to the exact section in this post.

Information on the front cover

The front cover will feature a large image of the deceased.

Above the photo, usually will sit:

Name of deceased / Date of Birth / Date of Death

Underneath the large photo, usually will sit:

Funeral Location / Date and Time of the funeral ( date time and location )


Sometimes on the front cover, you might want to mention the celebrant or the member of the clergy overseeing the ceremony, whichever is applicable.

Here are some front cover examples as inspiration

Information for the centre pages

Depending on the number of pages you choose for your order of service, you may have more or less room to detail the specifics of the funeral order of service. But as a useful guide, the funeral order of service running order would look something like this….

Example One:

Entrance Music / Welcome Words / Psalm 23 / Poem / Eulogy / Song Of Reflection / The Lords Prayer / Committal / Closing Words / Exit Music

Example Two:

Entrance Hymn / Reflection Hymn / Eulogy or Tribute / Exit Music

Example Three:

Entrance Music / Hymn / Reflection Hymn / The Lords Prayer / Committal / Exit Music

Example Four:

Entrance Music / Welcome & Opening Prayers / Hymn / Bible Reading / Eulogy / Reflection Music / The Lords Prayer / Poem Reading / Final Prayer / Exit Music

If you are using the services of a funeral celebrant, they will guide you through the process of creating the funeral service running order.

A member of the clergy or the funeral director may also guide you on the creation of the service running order.

If though, you are putting this together yourself, you can download a funeral word template here, it is just a collection of different funeral order of service templates, fill in the blanks and share with whoever is designing your funeral order of service.

The important thing to remember is, there is NO right or wrong way, the funeral order of service is designed to remember and give a glimpse into your loved ones life, a memory of their time with you.

Here are some Inside page examples as inspiration

Information for the Back pages

Typically the back page will feature one or a few photos of your loved one. These might be photos of them as a child or young adult or photos of them with their partner.

Here are some examples of different approaches to the back page…

Here are some back page examples as inspiration

Notice how families use this section to say thank you to those who were able to attend, and thank others for their kind words, prayers and involvement in the funeral preparation.

I’ve seen lovely tributes to the care offered at the loved ones end of life, and mentions of hospice and charities which have played an important part through their life.

Sometimes, a link is shared to leave donations. This could be a donation to a charity, but its common these days to have a fundraising page in the name of the deceased too. These websites offer that facility…

What should be included in a funeral order of service?

Front Cover:

Name of deceased / Date of Birth / Date of Death

Photo of your loved one

Funeral Location / Date and Time of the funeral

Inner Pages (service running order)

Condensing the information above, the service running order typically takes this format:

Entrance Music / Welcome & Opening Prayers / Hymn / Bible Reading / Eulogy / Reflection Music / The Lords Prayer / Poem Reading / Final Prayer / Exit Music

Back Page

Photo or collection of photos of your loved one / Thank you message or Poem of significance / Donations link or mention of how to donate to a specific cause or charity

What do you write on the back of a funeral booklet?

On the back page of the funeral order of service, a thank you message is common. To thank all those who were able to attend, or those who offered support and assistance.

Some examples of messages for the back page of a funeral order of service booklet would be:

Example 1. Mary, Shaun and Martin wish to thank all relatives and friends for the kindness and sympathy shown to that as this sad time. Your attendance here today is greatly appreciated.
Example 2. We would like to thank everyone for their kind words of love and support and for those who attended today.
Example 3. Kathleen’s family would like to thank you all for attending today.

The thank you message, is a nice space to mention anyone who had an impact and offered assistance, I hope the examples above help.

Who gives out the order of service at a funeral?

This is a question often asked by loved ones and the answer all depends on your arrangements that day.

Your celebrant may place the orders of service on the seats before the invited sit down, oftentimes the funeral booklets are handed out as the invited enter the venue.

Funeral order of service design online

I don’t put the design burden onto the family, and thats not intended to knock those websites who do. I used to own a bigger printing company, and the temptation back then was to setup an online design system (much easier nowadays) because, the design challenge is moved away from the printer, and into the hands of the bereaved family.

When I started this business, I decided that wasn’t the approach I wanted to take.

I know from experience, the process of use my DONE FOR YOU design process is much easier than learning the online design tools, I appreciate cost isn’t always the considering factor, but its worth mentioning that my prices are generally a lot lower than the big online suppliers, with their bigger overheads and staffing costs.

You really would be amazed, funeral order of service cost is a huge opportunity for many businesses to hike up their prices.

Done for you funeral order of service?

If you would like to discuss your funeral order of service design, I’m available on the live chat (just click the icon at the bottom of the website) , or send me an email at or you can reach me on freephone 0800 799 9541

It will take me around 2-3 hrs to create you something beautiful, and you can receive your order next day using premium TRACKED couriers.

18 Responses

  1. Hi, my family has a funeral plans in place, but it didn’t include the service funeral sheets, do you have any card templates that I can use? I just have a short message, full name and a menu for the service running order. Another supplier said the order of service may only include 1 photo of my loved one, i was hoping to include family and friends , I wanted to create a really nice reminder in my uncles memory . Person

  2. Hello, my sister is planning a memorial service or a funeral service for my mother and we’ve left things probably too late to receive the funeral services sheets! I need to get delivery on Saturday, is that possible? The location of the service is Glasgow.

    1. Hi Enid, I’ll share an email now. Yes that is possible, I offer faster turnaround on orders needed in short notice, I can dispatch this Friday for delivery on Saturday, no additional charge.

  3. Hi, a friend told me you had a really nice guide, do I need to click a newsletter signup email address link? I’d like to look over the guide before placing an order

    1. Hi Alison, thanks for reaching out, I’ll share the link to the guide here, you don’t need to share any information to access the guide, I hope it’s of use to you, if you would like to proceed to order, just reach out.

  4. Hello, my funeral directors is charging over £300 for the services sheets, I did some research online and found your website, I like the guide, what are your requirements for creating a design? I’m in need of some advice person ally preparing the service running order, what hymns to use and what to include on the cover page.

    1. Hi Wallace, my services are often priced at a lower rate, i’ve been involved with printing for a number of years and have learnt the hard way how to reduce my overheads significantly, so nothing against your funeral director, its probably their overheads are much higher. I’ll email you now with some guidance around poems and hymns you might like to include. You don’t have to use a templates system, i’ll handle all the design for you and return screen proofs within 2-3 hrs.

  5. I’m looking to have a funeral program created, I wondered if you have any clipart packages or access to elements I could use all rights reserved ?

    1. Hi Andrew, yes I do have access to a database of millions of professional design elements, they are all available to use in your design. Anything that was of interest to your loved one, their life, a tribute , their family , friends, group photo , selections can all be included in your design.

  6. Hi my church minister has shared the service running order with my family , and the booklet I would like designing will feature the names of all my dads family , can you include photos of all the people in the booklet?

    1. Hi James, thank you for reaching out. I can include all their names, photos, people you want to include. I’ll share some guidance about the type of photo, but don’t worry, I can work with almost anything you supply

  7. I’ve been using a template designs I ordered from Etsy, but I’m even finding that difficult to use, and when I print a sample it doesn’t look right, does you price include design? I wanted to make sure?

    1. Hi Sarah, sorry you’ve been having issues with the Etsy funeral order of service templates, don’t worry, it happens a lot more than you’d think. To answer, yes my prices include design, so if you just share the service information, i’ll make sure you get exactly what you need. All my funeral program or funeral (4page) and beyond service booklet include design as standard.

    1. Hi Paul, typically there would be a photo of your loved one on the front page, then on the back page 1 or 2 photos, and sometimes if the family needs, I can include a few photos on the centre spread. I know a lot of suppliers are a little restrictive on the photos, but may include as many as the space allows. I’ll share screen proofs for you to approve, review and let me know any changes.

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Here at Funeral Order Of we’re committed to offering beautifully designed, highly personalised funeral orders of service for clients all over the UK. We take care of all aspects of design, printing and delivery to ensure you get a great quality product at an unexpectedly low price.

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