Order of Service
The order of service lists the various stages of the service and follow a similar format to those for a wedding. Care and attention should be made when choosing the style and content. Here are some guidelines:
- The standard size is A5 and is usually simple cream or white folded card.
- On the front cover is the names of the deceased, their dates of birth and death, the date and time of the service and the location (i.e. name of the church or crematorium).
- It is popular to also feature a photograph of the deceased on the front. A more traditional option is a simple black cross.
- The inside content include titles of music, hymns and readings, and often the composer or author. Readers' names should accompany the text/title of their readings.
- It may be advisable to include the full text of hymns and prayers; this dispenses with the need for hymn and prayer books.*
- A poem or saying can be included on either the inside front cover or inside back cover. This isn't read out; it is just something for the congregation to read.
- It is customary to acknowledge the minister and/or registrar by name, and to credit the organist, choir or musicians.
- Some families also choose to include details of any reception after the service, as well as the details of the charity that is the recipient of any donations.
- Printer's proofs should be checked carefully, especially dates and people's names. It is sensible to get the minister to also check it over, especially the wording of the hymns.
* N.B. Hymns are subject to copyright, and it is illegal to reproduce the words without permission until 70 years after the author or composer's death. Permission must be gained for recent works; most hymns, however, were written so long ago that they can be reproduced.