Funeral programs, booklets, memorial pamphlets and brochure are usually distributed at funeral and memorials. Whether you are having a traditional funeral, homegoing service, or a less formal memorial service or celebration of life, these funeral handouts help tell friends and guests about the service and the deceased, and also can be a treasured keepsakes for family members and guests. These programs have changed a lot over the years. What used to be a plain, drab pamphlet can now be a vibrant and well designed keepsake. These article will focus on creating programs from templates.
Getting Started — Collect Information
Memorial programs and booklets can contain many different kinds of information. Before sitting down to write and create the program, you should gather your information, and decide the information that you want to include in your funeral program. You can ask to friends and family members to help you get this information. Also, having all this information in electronic format. This means having hard copies of photos scanned with descriptive titles, and supporting information emailed or provided in documents on portable drive.
Basic Information included in a Funeral Program
Full Name, including maiden names and nicknames if applicable
Birth Date and Death Date
Photo for Cover (if using one)
Service Information including Date and Time of Service, where service will be held
Officiant or Person who will be conducting the service
Funeral Order of Service Information or Funeral Outline – This lets people know the order of events for the service
Selecting a Funeral Program Template
When selecting a template, there are a few things you will need to think about and decide on. Here are a few examples.
What kind of color, design, style or theme will you want?
Funeral program templates come in a wide variety of designs, colors and themes. You may decide to select a design or theme that your loved one would have liked, such as a favorite flower, color or hobby. Or you may choose a template with a color scheme that suits the service that you are planning. There are many themes, such as floral, religious, scenic, hobbies or occupations, just to name a few.
What layout and paper size do you want?
Your paper size and layout will be largely dependent on how much information you will have to put in your program. Templates come in many different paper sizes including small card size up to large tabloid sized paper. Funeral program template layouts determine how the information is positioned on the paper, and how the paper is folded. Some common layouts include bifold or single fold, trifold, graduated fold and gatefold styles.
What computer application or program will you use to edit your template?
You can find templates to in many computer programs applications. You can find templates that are created and formatted in Microsoft Word and Publisher, Pages for Mac, Adobe Indesign and Photoshop. Microsoft Word and Publisher are the most common programs, and are the easiest to use. These templates are available online to download and use on your personal computer. Whatever program you decide to use, make sure that you are comfortable with the software that you are working in. See our articles on funeral program template software for more information
Making the Program
Once you have all of your information that you will include in your template, and you have decided on a design, layout and application, you can now begin creating your program. Here are a few tips when making your funeral program.
1. Assemble all of your information. Make sure you have all pictures and documents ready so that you can easily cut and paste information.
2. Edit your template. Most templates have text boxes with sample text so that editing is as simple as clicking in the box, removing sample text, and replacing with the text that you want. You can also change font colors and sizes in most templates. You can also add your pictures to your program.
3. Save your work as you go. You will be working with a lot of different files and you will probably have a lot of windows open. Save your work (even if you have the autosave feature) so that you don’t lose everything if you system crashes.
3. Print a draft first and proofread thoroughly. Have someone else review your program for mistakes and typographical errors. Make sure that colors and text look good. Do a couple of test prints and folds before you print the entire batch.
4. Before printing, make sure you have enough toner or ink. If even one color is low, it can give faulty colors. If printing many programs, consider starting with a fresh package of all colors of ink.
5. Allow plenty of time for assembling and folding your programs.
With some planning and a little patience, you can have a memorial keepsake that you can share with guest and treasure for years to come.
Funeral Handout Ideas
In addition to funeral programs and pamphlets, you may decide to handout other printed funeral and memorial keepsakes such as funeral prayer cards, memorial bookmarks or remembrance cards. These keepsakes are easy to make and can be created and printed at home by using memorial keepsake templates. You can also handout non-printed keepsakes, such as memorial jewelry, tokens and stones.