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  • Writer's pictureElaine Cormack

Five Ways to Personalise Your Funeral Order of Service and Create a Lasting Tribute

The funeral order of service, we’ve always had one, it’s an integral part of a funeral service, isn’t it?

When faced with the decision of whether to include a funeral order of service, it might seem like a customary step. It’s something we have always done, it’s on the long “to do” list of funeral preparations.

So, the big question: to have or not to have an order of service? It's like choosing between tea and coffee—seems simple, but it sparks a whole bunch of questions. Now, there's no right or wrong in this choice, but it's funny how we often lean towards it just because everyone else does. But, let's not forget, conformity is not the name of the game.


Funeral Order of Service Design Templates

Now you may have Googled funeral order of service examples, or funeral order of service design templates. You may be having your order of service printed by your funeral director, or a local printer, or perhaps you are doing it yourself, if so, chances are you have come across this traditional layout:

  • Picture, name, and dates on the front

  • On the inside, the rundown: entrance music, hymns, prayers, readings, eulogy, a poem, and the reflection music

  • Another picture and donations and wake details on the back.


Of course, you can jazz it up with some photo magic, font finessing, and a splash of colour. But there's a whole world of possibilities beyond the usual that can turn this piece of paper into a keepsake that doesn’t get left behind in the crematorium or thrown in the recycling bin soon after the service.


Beyond the Norm: Let's Get Creative


Without burning a hole in your pocket or spending eons on it, you can sprinkle a bit of you-know-who into this keepsake. Because why settle for the standard when you can add a dash of individuality and warmth? So, before you make any decisions, let's chat about a few things you might want to throw into the mix:


1. Talk to your funeral director – Add a Touch of Flair!

You could consider celebrating the uniqueness of your loved one by incorporating their passions into the order of service leaflet. Whether they were a sports enthusiast, a bookworm, or a nature lover, you could weave elements of their interests into the design. Think imagery, quotes, symbols, and even their favourite colour. It's like making a tailored suit – a draft for you to tweak until it's just right.


2. Pages, Pages, Pages: Your Choice!

Why stick to the standard single sheet? Break free! Add extra pages to include more memories, photos, or heartfelt messages. Or go minimalist with a pocket-sized version. It's all about capturing your loved one’s essence.


3. Unleash the Creativity – No Strict Order Here!

Who says it has to be a step-by-step guide? Here’s a bold suggestion – your guests won't need a written-down running order. Trust me, as your celebrant leads the way, your guests will be able to follow the service. So, let the order of service be a visual keepsake, not a manual. Get creative with the design and challenge the norm.


5. Treasures, Not Just Pages: Personalise It!

Funeral Flowers on Funeral Order of Service

So, what might you include instead of a running order? You could add things which truly reflect your loved one such as their favourite recipe, a playlist of beloved tracks, a poem which they wrote or was written about them, a selection of their top tens: books, films, podcasts, or a list of sayings they were known for. You could include sections with tributes from family and friends, creating a natural and heartfelt tribute that reflects the diverse stories and memories shared.

These personal touches can transform the order of service into a cherished memento that resonates with those attending and becomes something they will want to treasure for a long time.


Possible Alternatives to a Funeral Order of Service:

Wild Flowers

For those seeking a departure from the traditional order of service leaflet, and that really is ok, Here are a few suggestions:

  • Memorial websites or video tributes that can be shared digitally or a link to a memorial page - a modern twist!

  • Online photobooks, there are plenty of options on the internet.

  • A small, relevant favour:

    • Wildflower seeds for family and friends to plant and watch grow

    • A biscuit baked to your loved one’s recipe

    • Singles from their record collection

    • A piece of sheet music

    • Little stuffed hearts made from their t-shirts


Anything that is “them”


In the End: A Tangible Connection to Cherished Memories


Remember, the order of service leaflet can be more than just a piece of paper. It can be a tangible link to the memories we hold dear. Crafting a farewell that's uniquely yours is an act of love, ensuring that this keepsake becomes a cherished reminder of a life well-lived. There's no right or wrong—just what feels right for you. So, consider ditching the usual, and trusting your instincts, and I'd love to hear about your alternative "orders of service." Do please share with me!


And if you're on the lookout for a funeral celebrant in central Scotland, contact me here. Together we can make your farewell as special as the life it's celebrating.

Importance of Memories Graphic


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