A graveside service is typically a funeral service held at the gravesite at a cemetery. It can be done on its own or in addition to a traditional funeral service, and it’s the family’s last moment to say goodbye to their loved one.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Usually Goes Into a Graveside Service Program?
- How to Download and Edit Your Free Graveside Service Program Template
The graveside service can be a highly emotional time, so the more planning you can do in advance, the easier it is to focus on saying goodbye. A graveside burial service program ensures the family and the guests know exactly what to expect during the entire service.
In this guide, we’ll share what typically goes into a graveside service program, as well as some free templates to download. These are perfect for easily customizing a program that’s suited to your loved one. Not only can they make a great memento, but they’re also a part of the healing process.
What Usually Goes Into a Graveside Service Program?
A graveside service program is similar to a funeral program template. It includes a short bio about the deceased, information about the service, and the schedule of service.
These services are often seen as a pared-down funeral. While they have many of the similar elements you’ll find in a traditional service, there might be unique additions, or it could be shorter. Having a graveside service program makes it easy for guests to know exactly what to expect so they can take part in the service.
Your graveside service program is entirely up to you to customize. Most include some combination of the following:
- Schedule: The most essential aspect of any program is the schedule. This doesn’t need to be super time-sensitive, but you should generally share when things begin, what will occur, and who will lead each part.
- Biography or obituary: Because these are a form of memorialization, they often include a bio of the deceased or the obituary.
- Photos: These programs are also the perfect place to share pictures of the deceased, especially photos of them at different parts of their life.
- Prayers or poems: There is sometimes extra space on a program for prayers, poetry, or other significant text meaningful to the deceased.
- Thanks: The program is an opportunity to thank friends, family, and service providers for their support.
- Practical information: Last but not least, your graveside service program should include practical information like the date, place, and time of the services, as well as where any receptions will be held.
You’re free to include any unique graveside service ideas in your program, and this is an opportunity to organize an event that’s meaningful to you. There is no one-size-fits-all to saying goodbye, but it’s important to honor your loved one with a heartfelt and effective program.
There are some times you might want to include extras on the graveside service program. These are optional, but they might make sense, depending on your service.
- Donation or gift request: If you’re asking guests to contribute to a charity or funeral fund, or if you have other specific gift requests, the program is an excellent place to share this request.
- Visitation or viewing: If there will be a visitation or viewing, you’ll also want to include this in the program. Not all guests may wish to participate in the viewing, in particular, so giving proper notice allows them to make plans accordingly.
- Dress code: Most people know how to dress for a funeral, but if you have special requests, add them to the program.
- Special traditions: If there are any special rituals or traditions in this graveside service, it could be worth sharing a bit of background information about them in the program. This is especially true for a multi-cultural funeral.
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How to Download and Edit Your Free Graveside Service Program Template
While you can make a graveside service program on your own, it’s helpful to use a template as a guide. We’ve created two different graveside service program templates to choose from, and both are available in both Google Docs and Microsoft Word.
These are free to use and customize — download by completing the form below.
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How to Customize Your Graveside Program Template
You don’t need any advanced tech skills to create your own gorgeous program for your loved one’s graveside service. These templates are easy to edit with the steps below, and you can have them professionally printed or print them yourself.
How to edit and print in Microsoft Word:
- Start by opening your document in Microsoft Word. Open the Microsoft Word version of the template, not the Google Doc version.
- To replace the photo, right-click on the image and select Change Image. Select a photo from your computer. For the best results, choose an image that’s a square shape to match the image size.
- Replace the preset text by clicking on the text boxes (name, date, poem, etc.) and adding your own.
- Save your template by going to File > Save As.
- You can now print your template yourself or send it to a professional printing service, keeping in mind that this is a front-and-back template that’s folded down the middle.
How to edit and print in Google Docs:
- Upload the Google Doc version of the template you want and open it in Google Docs.
- Double click on any text to change it. It will open the Drawing editor.
- To change the photos, double-click on them to bring up the Drawing editor. From here, click Image, Upload, and resize/fit your images as needed.
- Adjust the text sizing as needed to fit the space.
- Save your Doc within Google Docs or download it to your computer by going to File > Download.
Create Your Own Graveside Service Program
If you’re holding a graveside service, a program ensures you make the best use of this time. Because you already have so much on your plate, downloading one of our free templates above can help you create something quickly without the stress of doing it all yourself.
The perfect graveside service program shares the events of the service and biographical information, and it’s a final memory of the deceased. It’s a powerful part of remembrance and saying goodbye.