How to Create a Funeral Program


By Emma Castleberry

The program is a small and easy-to-forget part of a well-planned, organized funeral or memorial service. Sometimes called an order of service, the funeral program is a simple brochure or pamphlet that you hand out to guests. This document outlines the process of the service (what will happen) and sometimes includes a brief overview of the life milestones and achievements of the deceased.

As with many features in a funeral or memorial service, programs are not “required,” but they can be a pleasant feature that honors the deceased and provides attendees with happy memories. If you decide to create programs for a funeral service, here are some tips.

Do It Yourself or Outsource

While planning a funeral is often an overwhelming duty, you might be able to find time to make your own funeral programs. Sometimes, outlining the life of your loved one can even be therapeutic and healing. It can also help you visualize the process of the funeral or memorial service, which can be comforting.

If creating the program sounds too difficult or you just don’t have time, you can also outsource this duty to a printer or online service who will create and mail you the programs. You will still need to provide the information to be included in the program and an image of the deceased. The printer will also want some guidance about type of paper, art to be included, and font for the program.

What to Include in a Funeral Program

A funeral program is often a folded document, much like a greeting card. In this style, the cover includes a large image of the deceased, their name and life and death dates. The inside pages are for the obituary and the order of events for the service. You can also include copies of scripture readings or poems that will be delivered at the service.

Another option, which also saves money, is to create a one page program. In this style, you can include a small image of the deceased at the top of the page, their name and life dates, and the order of events. You also have the option of including a short obituary on the back on the page, but it’s not necessary. Here is a short checklist if what to include in the funeral program:

  • An image of the deceased
  • Their full name
  • Dates of birth and death
  • Order of events for service
  • Obituary (click here to read more about how to write an obituary)

Funeral Program Templates

If you’ve chosen to create and print your own funeral programs, templates can be very helpful. There are plenty of places that you can find these. Canva is a free website that allows you to download templates, enter your personal information and add design elements. also offers a variety of templates that you can download and edit. While you are free to simply use Microsoft Word or another text editing software, templates can offer a more professional, polished look for your funeral program.

Are Funeral Programs Important?

Funeral programs can provide a more organized experience during the funeral for guests and the family of the deceased. During a time of grief, organization and simplicity are important. But the creation of a funeral program shouldn’t be a burden or another source of stress. If you have time, the program can be a useful addition to the memorial service, but it shouldn’t upset you further during a time of grief. Make the right decision for you and your circumstances when it comes to creating a funeral program.

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6051 East Seven Mile Road,
Detroit, MI
(East of Mound Road)

Direct Line: 313-893-1880
Fax: 313-891-1758

Hutchison Funeral Home

6051 East Seven Mile Road,

Detroit, MI 48234

Phone. 313-893-1880