Written by Lexi Goodland
A funeral order of service is quite simply a booklet that provides a chronological itinerary or schedule of the ceremony taking place. Upon arriving, mourners will be given this booklet to help guide them through the funeral proceedings, and it can also be sent out to those who are unable to attend. In this sense, an Order of Service is an important tool for outlining to attendees what is to come. Formal usage aside, an Order of Service is now actually becoming something significantly more than just a programme of events; it is a physical representation of a loved one lost, a sentiment to that person, and a lasting memory of their life.
Until about 20 years ago, the inclusion of a hardcopy Order of Service at a funeral was quite rare – without the technological aids we have today, there simply was not enough time to produce something of good quality that was fitting for the event. It was only when digital printing began to emerge that creating an Order of Service became possible. The simplicity of these documents was prevalent at the beginning, often literally the order of events and maybe a photo or two as well. Since their gradual increase in use, they have now become a very popular addition at funerals, an almost omnipresent feature. As afore mentioned, the main objective was to guide attendees through the service, but perhaps now we are seeing funerals trying to get the essence of the person into the service through this booklet.
Even with the digital advancements we have seen, the biggest barrier that presents itself, still, is time. There are approximately 2 to 3 weeks between the date of passing and the funeral in which the family of the deceased must make their arrangements. Amongst the various, and most likely lengthy, legal and formal duties is the organisation of the funeral, and with so much to do in so little time, the Order of Service can often be forgotten or left until the last minute. There is a real problem then in producing a high quality programme that truly does the person enough justice.
At 21st Century Print, the barrier of time and quality can be overcome. Funeral directors working with families to create a bespoke Order of Service can benefit from the services offered at 21st Century. With a host of regularly updated layouts and backgrounds, a desired template can be selected and structured to your specifications, with any material you wish to be included, such as hymns, songs, poems, readings and photographs, all laid out in a beautiful format. If you are still pressed for time, this process can be done for you by the team at 21st Century Print. From something short, simple and elegant, to a more extravagant, very unique and specific style, your Order of Service can act as a true statement and celebration of your loved one.
In such a difficult time, the importance of an Order of Service on an emotional level should not be overlooked. Something as small as this can allow you to create a unique commemoration of someone’s life, and may even offer you, your family and your friends something to remember the person you lost with, even after you have said goodbye.