No matter the size of your loved one’s service, you need a funeral program. A program is a printed order of events used as a schedule for a funeral or memorial service.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Do You Normally Include in a Minimal Funeral Program?
- How to Download and Edit Your Free Simple Funeral Program Template
The program also usually includes a tribute to the deceased and more information about the service. With so many things to worry about when planning a funeral, it’s normal to worry about making the perfect funeral program template.
While there’s often pressure to create something complex, you don’t need anything over the top for your funeral program template. Simple is sometimes best, and it lets your guests focus on their own feelings during the service.
We created a simple funeral program template that’s easy to customize to any situation. It’s easy and free to download the option that’s best for you.
What Do You Normally Include in a Minimal Funeral Program?
Unlike a more complex funeral program template, a minimal program has less information and is less flashy. It doesn’t usually have any overwhelming visual elements, and it’s a straightforward overview of the order of service.
While there is no one-size-fits-all, it’s normal to include any of the following in a simple funeral program:
- Obituary: There is usually a shortened version of the obituary or death announcement. Writing an obituary for a funeral program can be as simple as writing a few key sentences about someone’s life.
- Service order: The most critical element of a minimal funeral program is the order of service. This can be detailed, including each funeral element’s times, but it can also be a basic list.
- Photos: Funeral programs usually have a picture of the deceased, family photos, or multiple images.
- Thanks: A minimal funeral program still has space for a small thanks from the family.
- Prayer or quote: Last but not least, if there is any extra real estate, it’s common to include a favorite prayer, quote, or literature.
Including these elements in a funeral program not only serves as a memento for the family, but it’s also a useful way for guests to know what to expect. It’s normal to feel a bit intimidated when going to a funeral. A program ensures everyone is on the same page from the start.
Sometimes you need to add a few extras to your funeral program. If you’re using a minimal program for your service, you might need to shorten other areas to make space for any of these optional elements:
- Practical information: Depending on when you send guests your funeral program, you might want to include the date, time, and location of the service.
- Graveside service: If you’re holding a graveside service, you’ll also want to include a time and place for this.
- Reception: Similarly, if the reception is held at another venue, include this in the program.
- Officiants: It might also be appropriate to include the names of anyone officiating or participating in the service.
- Religious and cultural norms: If you’re holding a multicultural funeral or including religious elements, you might also want to add information or explanations to help guests.
Again, none of these elements are required. Less really is sometimes more, so trust your judgment when creating the right funeral program for your loved one’s service.
Virtual or hybrid service
Even if you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid service, you can still include a virtual funeral program. In this case, you’ll want to create something digital instead of printed. Our templates below still suit this purpose. Just don’t have them printed.
These programs can easily be added to a PowerPoint slide or as a download with a live stream event. They make a great visual element for a digital event.
How to Download and Edit Your Free Simple Funeral Program Template
To download your free funeral program template, use the form below. There are two different programs to choose from, and they’re available to download in both Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
How to edit your template
You don’t need any complicated programs or tech skills to edit and use your template. We have a version available for both Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
If you’re creating a virtual program, don’t print your template. Instead, export it as an image or PDF.
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 best results, choose an image that’s a square shape to match the image size.
- Replate 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.
Downloadable Minimal Funeral Program
A minimal or simple funeral program serves the same purpose as a larger, more complex funeral program. It’s a way to share the order of service while honoring the legacy of the deceased. Though simple, this document sets the tone for the entire service. It’s also a great memento for guests.
Making your own simple funeral program doesn’t have to be complicated. Our templates above are the perfect way to create something beautiful and memorable, no matter your skill level.