What Are The Parts Of A Funeral Program?

A funeral service is conducted to honor and pay respect to the deceased.
Joanne Lumsden
2 min

What are the parts of a funeral program? This is something those who have the responsibility of planning a funeral service must know. The last thing you want to do is skip a vital step and end up missing the mark. But because planning a funeral is such an emotional process, this is very easy to do. Don't worry - we're here to guide you through the various parts of a funeral service so that you can pull it off without a hitch and help all those around you grieve properly.

A funeral service is conducted to honor and pay respect to the deceased. The proceedings of a funeral vary among cultures, religions, and beliefs. However, some elements of a funeral are constantly seen in most funerals. When doing your research, it's easy to get overwhelmed - especially when planning an online funeral service. In general, though, there are four major parts of a funeral program:

  1. Pre funeral
  2. Euology
  3. Music
  4. Committal

In this in-depth article, we'll explain the significance of each of these four parts are and what you need to know about them. Let's not waste any more time.

What Are The Parts Of A Funeral Program?

If you ask different funeral planners or religious sects, you may get different answers to this question. According to some, there are as many as seven different components of a funeral you need to take note of when preparing for one. A traditional funeral service or memorial service can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. If you feel that you want to really pay your respects to the deceased and go all out, you are encouraged to do so.

But at the bare minimum, there are four elements of a funeral that cannot be neglected. Let's unpack them for you below, starting with the first element: what is known as the "pre-funeral" service.

1. Pre-Funeral

This is also known as a wake-keep service or visitation. This event is done before the funeral, sometimes a day before the funeral.  Family and friends gather to see and mourn the deceased’s body before it is laid to final rest. People come together to give their condolence to the family of the dead.

This event is primarily held in the home of the deceased. Other venues like a place of worship or a funeral home are also used.  A visitation can be private or open to the public, depending on the family’s choice. Sometimes, this aspect of the traditional funeral service is reserved for just family. Other times, friends and distant relatives are invited to attend as well. No matter who is invited or where this part of the memorial service takes place, it is an important step in the grieving process.

2. Eulogy

A eulogy is usually prepared by friends, family, and close individuals to the deceased. The speech is often read by a family member or clergy in charge of the service, majorly to honor the dead. It is also a reminder of the life they lived. It brings up good memories and encounters.

With this, people can find comfort in being reminded that their beloved lived a good life. You can have more than one eulogy at a funeral. However, they should be kept brief. Less is more. We encourage you to plan out who will speak at the funeral reception before hand, as open mics can get carried away and at times, distasteful depending on who is speaking and what they say.

3. Music

Music is an integral part of a funeral that can’t be ignored. It plays a huge role in events, setting the mood for the funeral service. Some include spiritual hymns and chants. It also helps in managing the feeling of sadness and loss. The deceased favorite songs can be played at the funeral, thereby bringing back memories.

If you want, you can make a playlist with the deceased's favorite songs or artists. This is something that you can create on Spotify and make public for all attendees to listen to after the fact - a very creative way to memorialize someone. However, a Christian funeral service will typically be limited to music in-line with the religion. Just be sure all responsible for planning the funeral or memorial service are on the same page.

4. Committal

This is the part where the loved one’s body is laid to rest. Depending on the choice of family members, a service can be conducted at the gravesite. However, some choose to cremate the remains of the deceased. Family and friends gather at the graveside to witness this proceeding and pay their respects to the loved one. This is the final step in any traditional funeral or memorial service.

After committal, everyone can go their separate ways - or, you can host a secondary celebration of life at someone's home. Here, all the deceased's closest family and friends can gather to share drinks, food, and memories - a beautiful way to end a tough day for all.

What Are The Parts Of A Funeral Service? Wrapping Things Up

Applying these elements to a funeral service would make it memorable. However, these are not static, and family members should feel free to include activities to ease their grief. The wishes of the deceased should also be respected. If you want to go above and beyond the traditional funeral service, consider creating a virtual memorial website.

At Forevory, we make it easy to memorialize your loved one online. This will help you and yours navigate the grieving process, and ensure they are never forgotten. You can upload voice notes so that all can hear their voice whenever they miss them. Or, you can upload an online memorial guest book. Other features include online memorial photos and videos, an online memorial family tree, and much, much more. Head over to our site and see what it's all about and keep their legacy alive forever!

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