The funeral order of service

What happens at a funeral and what should a funeral order of service include? The choice of order of service will be influenced by a combination of established conventions and widely varying personal preferences. In fact, almost anything is possible.

Depending upon its exact nature and the preferences of the deceased, the order of service for a funeral can be led by a religious or civil figure.

Typical content of a religious funeral order of service

A typical order of service will include the following:

The order of service for non-religious funerals

A typical non-religious order of service (a celebration of the life of the departed) might include the following:

How long does a typical funeral service last?

Planning the duration of a funeral service requires a sensitive balance between covering everything that needs to be said and avoiding an over-long funeral that starts to become repetitive. Typically, funeral service times (the duration of the event) are about an hour.

The order of service document

It is usual to give printed funeral programme details to the attendees, often in the form of a simple four-page booklet complete with one or more carefully chosen pictures. The order of service is normally placed on seats, in church pews, or given to mourners as they arrive for the funeral. Not only do funeral service sheets such as this guide the mourners, but they also provide a lasting 'after funeral keepsake' which many people find comforting. After a funeral, the funeral service sheet can also be sent to people who were unable to attend the ceremony.

Order of service booklets range from simple documents (maybe even created and printed at home) through to elaborate professionally printed brochures. Funeral directors often help with their preparation and production.

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