Order of Service leaflets

There’s often confusion about who and when and how the Order of Service (OoS) leaflets are produced.

The OoS is the little guide to the funeral given to mourners as they enter the chapel. It is entirely up to you whether you have one or not.

Typically they are A5-size with front and rear cover and two inside pages containing the details of the ceremony. They may also be a small multi-page booklet.

If an OoS is to be produced, then you and the celebrant need to agree the structure of the ceremony fairly early on; the music choices, any readings and the sequence of  speakers / poems / music etc.
If you want the speakers’ names included in the OoS then they need to be nominated and agreeable to this of course.

When the outline content is decided, the celebrant or family can send the agreed choices to the Funeral Director. They will design the OoS for you, including any family-supplied photos, and then send them to a professional printer, who will typically take 3-5 days to turn them around. You can also do this design and printing aspect yourself of course, if you feel capable of doing so.
There are also external companies that will do both the design and printing for you.

So there is a deadline for getting the structure of the ceremony in place dictated by the above timings.
The actual content of the tributes, eulogies, committal reading and so on is not affected by this schedule.

It is quite common to have a recent photo of the deceased on the front cover, contrasting with one of him/her in their youth on the rear cover. Or the other way round.
Photos of children and especially grandchildren might also feature.
Including the titles of readings and the poet / author’s name, and probably the names of the speakers will be greatly appreciated by the mourners.
It’s not usually necessary to print the content of poems or readings but it’s entirely up to you. The text of a short poem or reading may be very poignant in the OoS.

You may wish to include details of where the post-funeral gathering or “wake” is to be held and/or the details of any charities for donations.

I am completely neutral about whether my name is included in the OoS, but please don’t have it on the front cover – that is for the person who has died.