What to Include in a Funeral Order of Service

Hand of man hold candle flame light at night with bokeh at a funeral

When confronted with writing a funeral order of service, it may feel incredibly overwhelming and emotional. Because of this, writing the funeral order of service may be difficult. If you are struggling with what should be included in a funeral order of service, this blog aims to ease some of that pressure.

When creating your Order of Service, it is best to keep in mind “How would [name] like to be remembered?”. This may help with your photo choice, as well as adding some personal details, music, and other details to the funeral service.

What should be included?

Cover page – Typically kept simple and respectful. The cover page should include a photo of the one being remembered, their full legal name and any nicknames they may have had. As well as their date of birth and date of death. You may also include any short message, quotation, or sentiment that represents them. Some people also choose to include the location, date, and time of the service.

Centre pages- The centre pages normally include a schedule of events taking place at the ceremony, such as any songs, hymns, or readings. The lyrics to songs and hymns are usually included also for guests to follow along. There is no specific order to follow, but it may include:

  • A musical procession as those attending enter.
  • Music, songs, hymns, or poems. The specific hymns and poems can be listed and highlighted in bold for the mourners to follow along.
  • Readers and speakers recalling stories of the loved one who passed
  • Group prayer, hymns, or music
  • An introduction of the community leader or loved one.
  • Closing music

Once you have outlined the details of the service, you may want to use the rest of the inner pages to detail the life of the deceased or share some happy memories. An order of service is an elegant piece of funeral stationery that can be made as personal as you wish and therefore, once you have included some of the ‘traditional’ aspects, you can choose to add as much or as little as you feel appropriate.

Back page – Towards the end of the booklet, it’s a good time to express your thanks to those who attended the service, and to extend your thanks to more distant friends and relatives who received a copy of the booklet but couldn’t attend the ceremony. Additionally, you can include thanks to any local companies that have made the day possible, as well as any other special mentions or thanks.

To close the order of service, there should be mention of any after events such as awake, including the time and place for guests to make their way there.

Some examples of how to introduce this are listed below.

“The family would like to thank everyone for their attendance on this emotional day.

Donations in memory of [name] will be most graciously received for the [charity], which [name] cared so deeply about.

Refreshments will be held at the [location] at [time], to which you are all warmly invited in memory of [name].”

“The family would like to thank everyone for attending today, as well as all the kind messages they have received at this sad time.

Donations for [charity] will be collected if you wish to donate.

Following the service, you are all welcome to attend [location and time] to share further memories of [name] and give them a proper send-off. Refreshments will be served also. All are welcome.”

Funeral Order of Service Template

Here is an example of a Funeral Order of Service:

An example Order of Service inside spread.

Entrance Music

Introduction and Welcome by the Celebrant

Hymn, Prayer, poem, or Verse

Reading(s) and who is reading

A Funeral Address or Appreciation of the life


Hymn, Prayer, poem, or Verse

Commendation & Farewell


Dismissal and Blessing

Exit Music

Things to consider

  • Font style and tone of voice should match the style of the event. i.e formal or informal
  • Photograph choice should reflect the nature of the person being remembered.
  • Other funeral stationery, such as memory boards, welcome boards and attendance cards can add a more personal touch to the funeral service.
  • If you’re stuck on a style, you can browse our range of funeral order of service templates here for beautiful and elegant booklets.
  • Do you want to opt for the traditional minimal style or use some colour?
  • Paperweight is important. If the booklet is too flimsy it will ruin over time, and many guests may want to keep the order of service as a memory.