What to Include in a Funeral Program?

When someone you love dies unexpectedly, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out what to do first. Once the initial shock starts to wear down, you’ll need to start the motions and organize what you need to do. After you’ve reported the death and your loved one’s body is removed, it’s time to ensure the place where they passed away is cleaned thoroughly by a biohazard cleaning company. While they are working on safely cleaning the space, you can focus on the things that matter most like notifying loved ones and beginning the process of planning a funeral program.  

Decisions to make when planning a funeral

As you begin the process of planning a funeral, there are a few key decisions you’ll want to make up front. These include who is involved in helping you plan, the date, time and location, and the elements of the ceremony and reception that you feel would be most important to your loved one. Once you have these major details finalized, you can then shift your focus to completing the order of events and creating personal touches like a funeral program. 

Important elements of a funeral program

The beauty of funeral programs is that they are completely unique and customizable to match the person the event is honoring. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, today, funeral service consumers are planning funeral services that are as unique as the personal who passed away. Whether you’re looking for something extremely formal or want it to be personalized and lively, there are plenty of things you should make sure to include and others that you can choose to add if you’d like. Typical funeral programs have:

  • Personalized cover with a picture: Most funeral programs are printed in the form of folded booklets. These often have a personalized cover with a title like “In Loving Memory Of” or “Celebrating the Life Of”. It is also customary to include the dates of life ranging from the day they were born to the day they passed away.
  • Order of service: This roadmap helps guests understand what happens when. This is especially helpful for those who haven’t been to a funeral before or who are in distress and would benefit from understanding the order of events. List out the events in chronological order including any instructions that those attending the funeral might need to know including any songs they should join in on.
  • Details about a reception: If you are hosting a reception directly following the ceremony, it is customary to include the address, time (start and end time), and details of that event. If you are hosting it at the funeral home and aren’t sure if you want to include a full reception section, a simple line like “reception directly following the ceremony will be held in X room” will help guests know where to go and what to do when the ceremony is finished.

Other popular elements you might consider adding

  • Meaningful words: If there is a poem, quote, or bible verse that resonated with or accurately represents the personality of your loved one, this program is a great place to include it. Oftentimes this section is placed on the inside left of a folded booklet directly across from the order of the service.
  • People involved in the ceremony: If multiple people are involved in the ceremony or you’d like to find a way to include and honor the family of the newly departed, consider adding the list of people in the ceremony and/or those survived by your loved one.

While planning a funeral can be incredibly challenging, the funeral program is a wonderful way to honor your loved one and share memories as well as information to those who came to pay their respects. Whether you choose to incorporate all suggestions above or keep it simple, the thought and gesture will make a difference to all those who attend. If you are looking for assistance with creating and/or printing these programs, oftentimes funeral homes can assist.

What to do if you need professional cleaning of your home after a loved one passes away

At Xtreme Cleaners, we are dedicated to providing discreet and thorough biohazard remediation cleaning services in Louisiana. If a sudden death occurs in your home, office, or place you spend time often, it’s important to have the space professional decontaminated. Our team of experts are here to help so you can focus on more important things like planning a funeral. If you or someone you know needs help cleaning after a sudden death in Louisiana, give us a call at 800-524-9591.