Make a Funeral Program
Funeral programs help you honor your loved one's memory, as well as give pertinent information about the service. A funeral program is a printed document that gives the events of the funeral or memorial service, and celebrates the life and milestones of the deceased. Many people choose to make their own funeral programs. If you have word processing software and a printer, you can easily create a very special program for your service. Here are some general instructions to help you make your own funeral program.
Pick a software program to use.
You will have to decide which software program you will use. Many people already have Microsoft Word installed on there computer, and are familiar with how to use the program. There are many funeral program templates that use Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is a word processor, so you placing pictures may not be as easy as using a desktop publishing program such as Microsoft Publisher or graphics program such as Photoshop Elements. If you are confused about which program to use, choose the program that you are most familiar with using, this will save a lot of time and frustration.
Use a funeral program template or design your own program from scratch.
You will cut your time down significantly by using a funeral program template. Templates come in a variety of styles, themes, layouts and paper sizes. They also vary in pricing, some even are free. There is a variety of funeral program software including MS Word, Publisher, Pages and OpenOffice just to name a few. You can find templates that can be edited in these software programs. If you do not want to use a template, you can design the template yourself, although this takes significantly more time. Make sure you choose a template or create a layout in a software application that you are already familiar with.
Choose a template design and paper size, or create your own design.
You may decide to pick a funeral program design that reflects your loved one's style, such as a favorite color, flower or hobby. It is also very common to use religious images on the funeral program cover. The layout of the template is the paper size and the fold of the template. You can use a simple layout such as a bifold (single fold) layout that prints on standard letter sized paper, or you can use a trifold, graduated or step fold or large style layout. Choosing a professionally designed template will cut down on design time because it will already be laid out correctly and will print properly.
Collect all the information that will be included in your program.
If possible, try to get the information in electronic format. Information that is usually used in a program is:
Obituary or Life Tribute
Additional family photos or photo collages
Information of Pall Bearers or Flower Bearers
Thank you or Acknowledgement Information
Begin to type your information
Type (or cut and paste from other sources) the information into your funeral program template. You can also insert photos, memorial clipart images and make photo collages to celebrate the life of your loved one. We have a section on this website for funeral program design ideas. Make sure you save your work frequently.
Make your program unique and original.
Even if you are using a template, you can put your own special design touches to make your program unique and reflect your loved one's personality. Adding additional clipart images such as flower, religious symbols, frames and borders can showcase photos and add personal flare. You can also add in personal notes from loved one, and sayings or quotes that your loved one may have liked. Adding these special touches can turn a program into a family keepsake.
Once completed, proofread your program.
Proofreading is a vert important step in making your program. Here are some quick tips for proofreading your program.
- Run a spell check on your program
- Print out and assemble your program. This ensures that your pages and information are in the right order. Also, proofreading from a printout is better than trying to read from the screen.
- Read your program aloud to double check for errors.
- If possible, have another person read your funeral program.
When printing, make sure you have enough ink to print your programs.
When ink or toner begin to run low, colors will not print properly, so have additional ink on hand. See our article on printing funeral programs for more information Also, allow enough time for printing and folding.
Creating your own program can be a great experience. You will ensure that you have a program exactly like you want it, and it will reflect your loved one's uniqueness.