A funeral service program is often driven by the cultural practices observed by your family. There are also times when the entire order of service is pre-determined, if a loved one has made detailed pre-planning arrangements. Many families see the funeral service program as a way to honor and celebrate the life of a loved one.
The funeral service program may include:
- A funeral song or a musical prelude
- Words of welcome for the community and introduction to the loved one
- Prayers led by a pastor or key community members
- Scripture readings and religious ceremonies often led by a pastor or a priest
- Funeral hymns or chants
- Funeral obituary reading (formal)
- A life tribute read by family or someone important for the deceased
- Additional tributes by friends and family
Families that are following a non-traditional funeral service program may include a moment of silence, a celebration of life event, and other special additions important to their loved ones. Families often print a funeral order of service booklet to share it with the community so that they know what to expect. These service booklets or cards also contain information about the loved one’s passing and their biographical information.
How to decide on a funeral service program
Funeral directors often help families chalk out a funeral service program so that they can follow all the traditional steps, and make sure nothing is left out. Often families following a strict religious code may have exact steps they need to follow as per the cultural norms. Those working on arrangements without a funeral director may take help from a pastor, a priest or close family members to guide them.
Families may need to look up all the pre-planning arrangement set up by the deceased which may have details on how they want their funeral service to pan out. Often it is essential to work with the close family to make sure everyone agrees with the plan, and the memories of the loved one are honored, just how they would have liked.
For non-traditional set-ups, it’s entirely on the families on how they set up the program. In many non-traditional service programs, the funeral service is often seen as celebration of life instead of a solemn community gathering. This may alter the expectations of a funeral service that friends and family have in mind, so it’s important to share expectations with them beforehand to avoid any surprises.