What Should a Funeral Program Include?

Organizing a funeral can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with the emotional stress of losing a loved one. A well-planned funeral program can serve as a guide through the memorial service and double as a keepsake of your loved one’s life. Crafting a meaningful, personalized funeral program doesn’t have to be difficult.

Let’s explore the essential elements that should be included in any funeral program.

Choosing a Meaningful Cover

The cover of the funeral program sets the tone for the service. It usually includes a photo or meaningful theme that reflects the deceased’s personality. The cover also lists the name of the deceased, their birth and death dates, and details about the service location and start time.

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Internal Elements

The interior of the program usually contains a poem, quote, or scripture, and a detailed order of service. Sharing a favorite poem or quote from your loved one, or one that they loved, can add a personal touch to the program.

Order of Service

The order of service guides the attendees through the various stages of the ceremony. Examples of contents include:

    • An opening song or prayer
    • Scripture readings
    • The sermon/eulogy
    • Additional songs and prayers
    • The closing prayer or remarks
    • The dismissal

It is also helpful to list details such as the officiant’s name, the pallbearers, any vocalists or speakers, and details about the burial location.

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Personal Touches, Tributes, and Acknowledgments

A eulogy or tribute is a heartfelt moment in the service, helping to recall memories and acknowledge the impact your loved one had on their family and community. Informal tributes can take many shapes, including speeches, song performances, or even a moment of silence. A thoughtful obituary, sharing the life journey of your loved one, can also provide a historical record, celebrate their achievements, and convey their passions and values.

The back of the program often contains a printed obituary or thank-you note from the family, expressing gratitude for attendees’ support. This element of the funeral program is a moment for the family to publicly acknowledge the love that has been extended to them during a challenging time.


Remember, a funeral program is far more than a summary of the ceremony’s order. By carefully selecting photos, readings, and songs that reflect the life of the deceased, you contribute to creating a personalized celebration of life. Importantly, a funeral program offers the family and friends a tangible memory, a memento of a loved one, that showcases their unique life story and their impact on the world. It stands as a lasting reminder of their legacy, one that can comfort attendees long after the service concludes.

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