All About the Sequential Order of a Funeral Program

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Funeral programs are likely not very high on your list of arrangements to make for the funeral of your loved one. We understand that there are flower arrangements to select, service packages to sift through, and phone calls to make.

That said, we urge you not to overlook the importance of these pamphlets. Instead, read about why they’re so essential to funerary ceremonies. Moreover, learn about how you can create one that celebrates the life of your loved one.

Why Do Funeral Programs Matter?

Before delving into the sequential order of a funeral program, it’s wise to understand why these pamphlets are so crucial in the first place.

We understand that a funeral is more about honoring a loved one than the details of the ceremony itself. But we have to insist that having a funeral handout to give each attendee is an essential aspect of saying your goodbyes for the following reasons:

It Provides Structure for the Grieving

Custom funeral programs can be a great way to provide those grieving a sense of structure in an otherwise tumultuous and chaotic time. Funeral programs give those at the ceremony an itinerary of what’s to come from start to finish. They can see what songs will be played, what readings or other particular service elements will occur, and when.

A set structure like this is incredibly important to grieving people looking for clarity in a confusing time. And while it may seem inconsequential, offering a bit of structure to your attendees—even through something simple like funeral programs—can help them navigate their grief and get the most out of the ceremony.

It Instills a Sense of Communal Mourning

Funerals have always been a staple method of expressing our grief communally. Some people are naturally predisposed to sharing their emotional experiences with those in their community. But for others, it can be challenging to reach out and lean on the support others.

Providing attendees with an obituary program or funeral service pamphlet allows them to share a quiet connection between themselves and everyone else holding onto their brochure. In this way, nothing needs to be said or discussed to achieve that all-important connectedness. All a person needs to do is sit through the service with a room full of people who share something in common.

It Offers the Grieving a Memorial Keepsake

Service pamphlets aren’t just great for instilling a quiet sense of structure and community for the grieving. They’re also a thoughtful way to gift those in mourning a remembrance keepsake. You can also choose to do this in other ways, like providing memorial necklaces and pictures.

Offer a powerful and meaningful item to your attendees by using funeral pamphlets in your ceremony. Each person at the ceremony will have an item that relays the finer details of this challenging yet important day. They can look at pictures of the deceased and read their favorite hymns or scripture for as long as they wish to keep the pamphlet.

What Should a Funeral Program Include?

Now that we understand why they’re so important, we can begin to discuss the sequential order of a funeral program. Whether heavily customized or straightforward and standard, every funeral program will include a few similar features. These different elements play an integral role in laying out the service for those in attendance.

Moreover, each section is responsible for relaying important information about the dearly departed to those reading the brochure. The following sections outline the different areas of a memorial pamphlet for funerals. We hope it’s helpful for those who wish to design their own for a loved one.

Special Cover

Essentially the face of the funeral program, the unique cover is the part of your pamphlet in which you share meaningful photos of the deceased. Typically, people like to put up to three images on the face of their funeral programs. You can go with whichever pictures you choose. It is important to ensure that they embody who your loved one was in life.

The cover is also a great place to include things that help create a theme for the service. For instance, if your grandmother loved gardening, you might choose a floral pattern to serve as the backdrop of your program. Moreover, you might select a complimentary leaflet pattern to border your cover photos. The front of your funeral service pamphlet should commemorate the image of your loved one and set the theme for the service.

Inside Left

Usually, people will use the inside left of their funeral program to share a poem, quote, or piece of scripture that was important to their loved one. Some might select one of these things based on how well it represents the deceased’s spirit rather than how much they liked it.

The inside left is a great place to share a powerful representation of your loved one’s spirit through words. Of course, alternatively, you could use this area to share the obituary of your dearly departed. It’s really about whatever you think will most appropriately honor the memory of your loved one.

Inside Right

The inside right of the pamphlet is where the actual progression of the service is listed. Most pamphlets organize the order of service itineraries as follows:

  • Opening song
  • Prayer/welcome message
  • Scripture reading
  • Additional song
  • Sermon, eulogy, or personal speech
  • Scripture reading
  • Closing Song
  • Closing prayers or remarks
  • Service Dismissal

Of course, your loved one’s service might be less structured in the traditional sense. If so, you can use the inside-right area of your pamphlet to list key information about the funeral, such as:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Dates of birth and death
  • Funeral location and start time
  • The officiant’s name
  • List of pallbearers (honorary or formal)
  • List of vocalists and speakers
  • The location of the committal service


Remember not to overlook the back of the service pamphlet. Here is your opportunity to share the official obituary of your loved one if you haven’t already. Plus, you may want to leave a sentimental note for all of your attendees on the back of the pamphlet.

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, funeral programs are essential for saying goodbye to your lost loved ones. But more than that, they are an opportunity to share the deceased’s spirit with those who loved them as much as you did. It’s a chance to provide a sense of community, support, and remembrance during an emotional and confusing time.

We certainly hope this guide offered some valuable information on what to include when the time comes to create a funeral program for your dearly departed.

All About the Sequential Order of a Funeral Program

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