Steps for Planning a Funeral Service

By: Anderson Funeral Home
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Steps for Planning a Funeral Service

Planning a funeral is overwhelming, as everyone involved has suffered a great loss. At the same time, you want to plan a funeral that honors the deceased and those who wish to pay their respects. If you understand the basic structure of a funeral service, then it is easier to make your plan. You can use your understanding of funeral services to serve as a template.

Opening Music

Generally speaking there will be music before, during, and after the ceremony. This is true for both memorial services and religious and non-religious funeral services. You can choose traditional songs for the funeral, or you can identify music that reflects the deceased loved one’s personality. Perhaps one of their favorite songs can be played as people arrive and the funeral service begins.

Opening Remarks

The next step is to welcome people to the funeral. These remarks can be given by a single person or they can be given by several people. If it is a religious funeral service, a prayer may be part of the opening remarks. A few people could also get up and talk about how they knew the deceased and share memories about them.

Prayers or Ceremony

During a religious funeral service there may be several prayers followed by a ceremony, which may include a group blessing or the Eucharist. In a non-religious funeral, you might have a simple ceremony honoring the deceased. For example, there could be a special reading or performance, or a candle lighting ceremony.

Eulogy and Closing Comments

The eulogy is a time where someone close to the deceased talks about them and shares some closing comments. The goal is to leave those who are attending the service with positive and hopeful memories. It is also a time where the people attending may come up and talk about the deceased if they wish to.

Closing Music

The funeral services are generally over after the closing comments and eulogy. You can signify that the services are over by playing another song. Again, it can be traditional or religious music, or something that was special to the deceased. You can also have a live performance.

Other elements to consider including in the funeral are a memorial table, a guest book, and a program. The program will include the names of all speakers, the prayers or readings printed out, the music chosen for the ceremony, and any special directions or requests.

Planning a funeral is never easy. However, when you know what to expect and have a general funeral services guideline, it is much easier to prepare. Your funeral director will also be able to guide you and help you plan.

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