Writing a Funeral Program
Almost all traditional funerals and memorial services include a program that is handed out to guests as they arrive. This pamphlet usually contains photos and personal information, as well as an outline of the events that will occur during the service. Like a wedding or church program, it provides guests with an overview of what to expect while also acting as a keepsake for the event.
When you’re planning a funeral, your funeral director will most likely ask you to either create your program or provide key items so that they can print one up for you. Although you are as free to be creative as you wish, most funeral programs include several key components.
- Name of Deceased
- Dates of Birth and Death
- Time, Date, and Location of Funeral Service
- Favorite Poems
- Psalms or Other Religious Passages
- Funeral Songs
- Thank You Note from Family Members
- Funeral Officiant Information
- Special Memories Section
- Awards and Accomplishments of the Deceased
It’s a good idea to have these items prepared and ready when you meet with your funeral director, or to ask family members to gather the necessary items for you, as it can take up to a few days to assemble a funeral program (and to get enough copies printed up).
If you want to save on funeral costs, you may opt to make your own funeral programs and print them at home. This will allow you the flexibility to create whatever you want, though you will need some experience putting together a brochure in the proper format.
Hiring an Outside Provider
You can also hire a professional writer or designer for these types of items. Things like obituaries, biographies, and high-quality photo touch-ups often require the touch of someone outside the family, and it might be more cost-effective to look for a third-party vendor than to have the funeral home provide these services as part of a package. (Be sure and ask the funeral home ahead of time what they typically offer, as well as additional charges for each.)
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By Amy Johnson