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Elegant Memorials Blog

Funeral and Memorial Templates Designs and Memorial Resources

Writing an Obituary for a Funeral Program

obituary template adFuneral programs honor and celebrate the life of the deceased. Programs usually contain photos information about the funeral or memorial service, poems, scriptures and an obituary. The obituary can be a very imporant part of the funeral or memorial program or bulletin. Writing an obituary for the funeral program can seem challenging, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips to help you write the perfect obituary for your funeral or memorial bulletin.


1. Start off with a few key points, and build on it
You may have already written a short obituary for the newspaper or funeral home as an announcent. You can start with that. The short obituary probably already has full name, place of residence, date of birth and death, and funeral or memorial details.

2. Add in personal details
You can then include more details in describing the person's life. It can include hobbies, interests or special qualities that they possessed. Did they enjoy traveling or writing poetry? Were they well-known among friends and family for telling jokes? Did they work for a special cause? These are the kinds of details you can add to the standard obituary to help those attending a memorial service to remember the person's life.

3. List family members
This is an important and sometimes tedious part of the obituary. Of course, include the spouse of the deceased and their children. You should also list siblings. Depending on the size of the family, you may want to stop there, or you may continue and list extended family members.

4. Look at examples
There are many obituary examples on the internet. You can also consult the newspaper or funeral homes to read examples of obituaries to help you get started.

Elegant Memorials has many resources to help you write an obituary.

How to Write an Obituary

Obituary for Newspapers

Sample Obituaries


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Pre-Planning Your Own Funeral

funeral planning checklistIf you've ever planned a funeral when a loved one died, you know it can cause heartache and hard feelings for the family members who need to handle the final arrangements. If nothing were prearranged or clarified ahead of time, there may be some conflicting details about the burial or service. Everybody will want to do what they "think" is best, which you know is not always true. Preplanning your own funeral ensures that your final wishes are carried out to their fullest.

By preplanning your funeral, you can spend time shopping around for the best prices and burial options on items such as caskets, urns, cemetery plots and insurance. You can also make sure that any special requests and preferences, such as songs and readings at your services, and funeral program and keepsakes are incorporated into your service.  Just think about much less stress your family will have when your time does come. Wouldn't you rather have them celebrate your memory instead worrying about where to hold the service or even how to pay for it?

Not sure where to begin? If you have a funeral home in mind, start there. Then make sure you visit several more to comparison shop. Once you have an idea of what things cost now, set up a funeral plan either by purchasing a funeral insurance policy, putting money aside, or by paying for what you can. Remember to leave a buffer for inflation, as funeral prices generally increase every year. Talk to your family and express your wishes, including the type of service and burial you want.

Finally, once you have all this in place, contact an attorney, and have the details added to your will or estate planning documents.

Here are more resources to help you get started planning your own funeral or memorial service:

Funeral Pre-planning Article

Funeral Planning

Memorial Service Ideas

Funeral Program Samples


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Creative Funeral Planning

memorial butterfliesMemorial celebrations aren't the solemn services made popular by past generations. Though they honor and remember a person's life, today's memorials can celebrate it too. The goal is to make this celebration unique and personal. Instead of focusing on the sadness and what could have been, have it be about how your loved one lived, and how his or her life affected others. You can do this in a number of ways including the location it is held, the theme you choose, and the keepsakes that make it personable. Family members and friends can help plan the service, or you can turn to sites such as Pinterest for some amazing ideas.

To start with, the service need not be in a church or funeral home. Memorial celebrations can be held just about everywhere from your home to a baseball field, golf course or botanical garden. Dress is casual or formal, and the mood of the celebration should be somewhat upbeat. A theme is not always needed, but acceptable in many instances. It all depends on your loved one's hobbies and lifestyle.

There are many ways to make the celebration unique. You can display family photos on poster boards, create a video montage set to your loved one's preferred music and serve his or her favorite food. Provide memory cards (index cards will work too) so guests can jot down and share their memories of the person who died. There really aren't rules to decide what is right or wrong. For keepsakes, you can create some beautiful memorial bookmarks, or even use the dried flowers from the funeral and make them into beads, key chains, etc.

If you want to take the memorial celebration to the next level, consider a butterfly or ladybug release either outdoors at the park or at the cemetery. It is more environmentally sound than releasing balloons. These natural releases are becoming extremely popular because they serve as reminders of a loved one's spirit being carried off to the heavens. Do you have a favorite memorial celebration idea?

Also See:  Memorial Service Ideas, Personalizing a Funeral or Memorial

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