The Funeral Order of Service   

When someone you love passes away nothing family or friends can say will take away your feelings of sorrow. Grief has entered into your world and can, at times, be extremely intense and frightening. Your emotions are running high and you’ll have so much information racing through your mind with many why, what and when questions. Planning a funeral and arranging the funeral order of service may seem like a task that just cannot be completed but it really can be. With help from those that mean the most, you will get through and you will prepare a beautiful tribute, to your loved one.

funeral order of service

Preparing the funeral order of service will help you greatly when it comes to arranging the funeral. It will provide you with a plan in your mind, a structure, which will guide you through the events of the day.

If your loved one had already planned the day’s events then you won’t have too much to prepare, as they would have made all the arrangements themselves about how they wanted their day to be. If you are planning your own funeral service this article will help you refine your ideas.

If your loved one didn’t make any plans for their funeral, don’t worry, hopefully we can help you. It may seem daunting but with a little bit of helpful guidance you will get there.

Funerals, just like people, can be as individual as you want them to be. There really is no set structure or rules which you have to stick to. Remember, it’s your final goodbye to your loved one and it should be a day you’ll remember forever. No two people are the same and this definitely goes for funerals too. Never be afraid to personalise your loved one’s funeral. It will help you in your grief, knowing you made your loved one’s day extra special and meaningful to them.

So, don’t worry about putting forward your ideas to your funeral director, as they are there to carry out your wishes and the wishes of your lost loved one. They want to make the day as special as you would like it to be, so always mentions things to them that you think you would like. They will guide you through the funeral order of service, making sure you are happy with everything that will be happening on the day and can also make changes if you need them to.

There are many things to think about as you plan your loved one’s funeral and the funeral order of service.  Here are some of the main decisions you will need to make about the funeral service:

  1. Cremation or burial?

If your loved one already knew what they wanted then you won’t have to worry about making this decision. If they didn’t leave any requests then there are many things to consider. Burials are more expensive than cremations, due to land availability. Prices for burials here in Australia are high and if you’re on a budget you may be better off going for a cremation. Cremations are much cheaper, as you don’t need as much space in a cemetery.

order of service planning

Location too plays a big part when deciding between the two. City locations will be dramatically higher than rural areas, due to land availability.

The cemetery you choose will also affect prices, as they will each have their own charges. So it does make sense to visit a few and ask how much their charges are.

A funeral service can be carried out at a crematorium and they have beautiful rooms where the services take place. You can also have the funeral service in a church, if your loved one was religious and then go to the crematorium afterwards. If you do decide to have your loved one cremated, you will have to decide on your loved one’s final resting place. You can keep the ashes in a beautiful urn or you could bury them and you can also scatter them. This would be a lovely thing to do if your loved one had a special place in their heart for somewhere they loved to visit.

If you would like to have your loved one buried, you can hold the funeral service inside a church or you could have the service in a cemetery chapel. If you already have a family grave or plot in a cemetery them maybe your loved one could go in there.

Choosing between cremation and burial is the main decision to make when arranging the funeral order of service, as all other proceeding will depend on this decision.

  1. Do you want a religious ceremony?

If your loved one has already told you that they want a religious ceremony then you already have a good start in preparations but for some people this is a difficult decision to make.  If your loved one was a religious person and you know they would love to have a religious ceremony then you should definitely go with that.

There is absolutely no set of rules when it comes to a funeral and a funeral order of service, you have the final say in all of the day’s proceedings.

Typically though the funeral procession will begin at the home of the person who’s died or sometimes it starts from the funeral home itself. Your loved one will travel in the hearse which will be followed by all the family members in the limousines that will follow behind. You will then arrive at the place where the service will be held, be it in a church or another place of choice.

The coffin is then carried inside, with all the family members following behind. Family members will sit right at the front, as the service is carried out.

If you’re having your loved one buried, the coffin will be taken to a cemetery and will be lowered into a grave, as a small service is carried out.

If you’re having your loved one cremated the coffin will be taken to a crematorium and will then be placed onto a stand. Music will be played and ever so slowly the coffin will gradually be lowered and will disappear from sight. You do have the option to keep the coffin on view until you have left the service but let your funeral director know your wishes.

Typically, a religious funeral order of service will go like this:

  • Music will be played as you enter the church
  • There will be an introduction by the minister/celebrant
  • A song will be sung
  • One or maybe a few bible readings will be said that will reflect the grief of the ones left behind
  • A shirt message from the minister
  • Next there will be an appreciation of the life of the one who’s gone
  • Then comes the time for reflection. This may be accompanied by music
  • Funeral prayers are said which will offer words of comfort to all those attending
  • Another song will be sung
  • Then comes words of commendation just before the cremation or burial
  • Next comes the committal of your loved one with words or music
  • Closing words are then said
  • Closure takes place which may be accompanied by music
  • The service is over and music is played as everyone leaves

If you’re planning on having a non religious service then you can expect the funeral order of service to be as follows:

  • Music will be played as you enter the service
  • There will be a few opening words by the celebrant
  • Poems or readings will be said, usually by a family member but not always. These could be read out by a family friend or the celebrant
  • Tributes will be said either by the celebrant, family friend or family member
  • Next comes the committal of your loved one
  • The last poem is read, either by the celebrant, friend or family member.
  • Music is then played as everyone begins to leave

As we mentioned earlier, funerals can be as unique as you want them to be. These are just guidelines regarding what usually happens at a religious or non religious service. The choice is ultimately yours. It’s your last goodbye to the one you love and you should arrange the funeral order of service as you wish to.

  1. Think about the flowers you will choose

Flowers play a big role in a funeral service whether a religious or a non religious one. They are placed on top of the coffin or casket and they look absolutely beautiful. We’re lucky here in Australia, as we have stunning flowers to choose from that will create a lovely tribute to lost loved ones.

Some people would rather not spend all that money on flowers though and would rather give the money that would have been spent on them to a charity. If your loved one made their funeral plans and knew they didn’t want flowers maybe there is a charity that was close to their heart that would create a lovely tribute to them. Maybe they have already told you the charity they would like the money to go to.

If your loved one would like to have flowers then there are plenty to choose from. Lilies, Carnations and Roses are always favourites and will look beautiful in your floral spray. Roses have always been a popular choice when it comes to funeral flowers.

Flowers can be expensive so if you are trying to cut costs without compromising on beauty, you could go for flowers that are in season and have a little less in your floral spray. If money isn’t a worry then you could go for flowers that are out of season and have more in your floral tribute. Click here to see funeral flower arrangement options..

Final Thoughts

Arranging a funeral is a heartbreaking experience for anyone to have to go through. The main thing to remember is that it’s your loved one’s special day and you can personalise it as much as you want to, creating a fitting tribute to the one who’s gone. We hope our guide has helped you when it comes to your loved one’s funeral and the funeral order of service. It does take time to prepare and there are important decisions to be made but you definitely can prepare a day that will be just as special as your lost loved one was.