Planning a funeral can feel overwhelming. The checklist is long, from sending announcement letters and invitations to organizing memorial services and coordinating condolence gifts to the grieving family. It’s natural to feel a little out of your depth, especially if this is the first time you’ve coordinated the planning. If you’re feeling at a loss for what to do and how to tackle the subject of your memorial service program, please take a moment to read through this article and get a better understanding of what you’re setting out to do.
Below you’ll find a full description of the purpose of a funeral program as well as tips on what you may want to include and where to find professionals who can make the process easier.
First, the purpose of a memorial service program. A funeral program is typically a single sheet or a small brochure-like booklet that explains the order of events at your service while highlighting the life of the person who has passed on. Many people choose to include an obituary inside their program, and larger programs may also include prayers or poetry honoring the loved one. The front cover usually features a picture of the person above their name and the dates of their life. In short, a program is a small booklet that stands as a tribute to the person who has passed, as well as an introduction to the service for those who’ve come to remember them.
Once you understand the purpose of the program, it’s a little easier to determine what sort of program you want to design. The most common styles are four ‘page’ pamphlets made by folding one standard sheet in half vertically. This style allows space for a front cover dedicated to the person who has passed, an inner page for their obituary, a page detailing the services, and a back page for poems, prayers, or acknowledgments.
Another style is the Gatefold Program, made by folding a long sheet of paper twice to create two opening panels and a larger internal panel. This style results in six panels total and gives more space for quotes, poems, prayers, and favorite memories of the person you are remembering.
Finally, there are also Graduated Programs, which can be as complex as taking up two sheets of standard paper and require some assembly. These programs feature up to eight panels and have labeled tabs for easy navigation.
When choosing your memorial service program, consider how much you want to say in print and how you’d like the services to be organized. For example, if you’d like your family and friends to pray together, you may want space for a chosen prayer to be printed, so everyone will have the words in front of them. Don’t worry if you’re unsure of how to make a certain program – this is where the professionals come in. It is much better to have the program you want than to shelve it because you were uncertain of the process.
Once you’ve chosen a program you can go to The Funeral Program Site, where templates of all these program styles are available for purchase. If you aren’t confident in your ability to customize a template on your own, you can also opt for their professional graphic design services. Simply choose the style of program you’d like and send in your text and pictures. The Funeral Program Site’s professionals will handle all the details so you can get back to organizing everything on your list.