When a loved one passes, the process of funeral preparation is exhausting at best. It has often been compared to planning a wedding in one day; contacting family and friends, making arrangements with the funeral director, overseeing the assets and financial accommodations. It can be so overwhelming that the grieving process takes a backseat and the actual meaning behind the funeral ceremony goes overlooked for what it is – a celebration of a life – a rekindling of memories – a remembrance of a person who is being honored.
With all the confusion and mixed emotions, it can be hard sometimes to take a moment and chronicle the life once lived in ways that can be distributed to all the friends and families. Perhaps this is why funeral programs are key in any funeral.
These funeral or memorial booklets are distributed to those attending a funeral or memorial service and act as a brief, yet sentimental glimpse into the life of a person being honored.
When creating a funeral program, there is a commonly basic list of information about the loved one that should be included are:
* Full name
* Dates of birth and death
* Time, date and place of funeral
* Name of priest, minister or other dignitary officiating the service
* Place of interment
* Full names of pallbearers;
* Name of person delivering the eulogy
* Titles of the songs played and/or sung
Depending on the length and how many pages are included in the funeral program, other elements that can be included are:
* Pictures of the loved one
* Favorite poetry
* List of surviving family members
* Brief biography
* Charities where donations may be made
* Time and place of the “after funeral” breakfast or luncheon
* Words of gratitude from the family to those who attended the service
* Artwork created by the loved one
Because the cover is the first thing everyone will see and most likely remember the most about the program, selecting a cover for the funeral program should not speak only of the person who died, but also about the type of funeral being held. Some covers may include:
* A sunrise or sunset
* Any nature scene
* Falling rain
* Flowers, trees or plants
* Crosses, rosaries or other religious symbols
* Collage of photos or a single photo of the loved one
It isn’t necessary for funeral booklets to be complex, yet they don’t have to be simple either. While general funeral programs consist of a standard sheet of paper folded in half, there are no rules or regulations restricting the amount of pages and information included.