What is the Typical Order of a Funeral Service?

funeral order of service templates

When you come to arrange a funeral, it can feel overwhelming and upsetting. This can cause a lot of confusion as to how best to organise the funeral, or more specifically, the funeral order of service.

How do you make an order of service for a funeral?

When deciding on your funeral order of service, you must first pick a template you want to follow. You can browse templates on our website if you’re struggling. As for the order, a lot of people will choose to follow the traditional funeral order of service, however, if you want to mix things up and make it a little more personal or unique you do not have to follow the traditional order of things. That said, a traditional order of service is similar to as follows:

Music Prelude


Scripture Reading



Reading of Obituary



Poem reading

Final Words

Closing music/reading/hymn

Final Viewing and Procession to Cemetery


A traditional service will include music, hymns, readings, and prayers as per the religious structure. However, if you or your loved were not religious you can forgo this for words of sentiment, or other readings and poems that reflect the interests and life of the person who has passed.

Funeral order of service is an important part of the funeral itself. It is handed out to the guests attending, as well as given to those who could not attend. A funeral order of service can follow a traditional pattern, or you can opt for a personalised funeral order of service that reflects the deceased best.

Personalising a Funeral Order of Service

There are lots of ways to make a funeral program more personal.


Colour and design. Choosing a personalised funeral order of service is best reflected in colour and/or design theme (such as flowers, stars, trees, etc.) It’s important to choose something that feels right and matches the spirit of the event, as well as the spirit of the deceased.

Language and tone. Make sure to use language that embodies the mood of the celebration. Decide if you’d prefer to have a formal or informal tone, as well as if you’d like to read something in the way the deceased would have liked.

Typestyles. The font style you choose for a funeral program can communicate the feeling of the event. More formal script styles evoke a more elegant event, and simple, minimal styles creating a modern effect. The font you choose should not directly contrast your tone. For example, you do not want to choose a formal font like gothic sans but have an informal text matter.

Photos. Choose at least one photo to include in your personalised order of service. This is typically either on the cover or within its middle pages. You can choose as many photos as you like, but the front cover photo should only be of the deceased and should reflect the tone of the ceremony. So for example, if the service is friendly and warm, perhaps a picture of them in their day to day life smiling and happy. You can also include pictures of them with friends or family, but this should not be on the first page.