You may or may not have thought much about it or why it's so important, but the funeral program, also known as a memorial program, memorial card, funeral service sheet, order of service sheet and remembrance booklet among others, is the little pamphlet or booklet friends and family receive at the beginning of a funeral service. The funeral program will usually have a photo/s of the loved one that has passed on the front, inside or back covers, with their birth date and date of passing, and the 'order of service' for the day of the funeral. It can include lyrics to a loved one's favorite song, a hymn that will be sung on the day, or perhaps a poem, reading or photo collage. The options are endless and completely up to the family. To me, the funeral program is probably one of the most important, yet neglected (in terms of quality design), aspects of the funeral service.
So why does having a well-designed funeral service sheet for your loved one matter?
It's simple really. Besides being a reference guide for the events of the day of a funeral, a funeral service sheet more importantly, is a lasting keepsake for friends and family. It is something we hold on to and cherish; sometimes displaying for days, weeks, even months on the mantle piece as a remembrance of our lost loved ones. It's not something we throw away easily, if ever.
Just as photos evoke special memories in our minds, remembrance sheets take us back to a period in our lives where we reminisce these special people that are no longer with us. Sometimes they are poignant memories and other times, they are joyful memories of a time when family and friends came together to celebrate life through tears, laughter and story telling.
Just as importantly, a memorial booklet provides us with the synopsis of our loved one's life. From birth to death and everything in between. Now and then family and friends find out things they never knew about their loved one through the obituary, photographs, or perhaps the inclusion of their favourite song or poem. A thoughtfully designed funeral program therefore has the ability to capture the personality of those loved one's through careful application of design elements such as, colour theme, font choice, layout and imagery. The quality of card used to print the funeral program on also has an important role in enhancing the quality and 'feel' of the program, as well as, providing longevity, durability and the ability for the memorial card to stand on it's own. That being so, a well-designed funeral program is something that can stand the test of time, kept by friends and family, proudly displayed or carefully tucked away in a treasure box to be admired in years to come as a homage to our loved one's.