How to properly plan a successful funeral service...

How to plan a funeral service your way

You will need to plan a funeral service, plan a wake and plan an obituary, write a eulogy and it is often a lot easier when making use of a Funeral Director or Funeral Celebrant. These are people that will assist you in arranging everything from placing an obituary to choosing a coffin, casket and flowers. The funeral service planning can be especially complicated.. 

How To Plan A Funeral Service

While we wish to be all inclusive, this page is written primarily from a background of a Church of England denomination. While a Church may well be at ease with a change of order and entering into ideas that are more customary with an individual personality. Other religions may be more strict and adhere to a more traditional order of service. As with anything in life, you can only ask and see if special requests can be accepted.

If you are planning a religious funeral then the local church or religious leader will be able to assist. If you do not make use of a Funeral Director, then you will need to meet with them yourself. Many religious leaders are accustomed to prompting their congregation, especially if the C of E follower is not particular religious but still wishes to have a Church service.

Be assured that they will have been through this procedure many times. Both Celebrants and religious leaders have learned to ask certain questions about the deceased, forming a picture and pulling in related hymns, scriptures and prayers that will celebrate their life. The same can be said for planning a Humanist funeral service. Aspects of life taken to form a picture which can then be turned into words and song.

Readings And Literature

You will hear the term 'Order of Service' mentioned a lot. It is the procedure with which the funeral service will flow. A bit like ensuring B comes after A and C after B. There might be popular music, a reading, a hymn, a prayer and a hymn for instance.

At certain junctures there will be room for a reading or three, depending on the duration of the service. This is an opportunity for a relative or friend to stand up and state wording that meant something to the deceased or family and friends. It could be a favourite poem or passage from a book. Personalised as well as religious readings like parables or religious texts about heaven and having done good.

Hymns, Lyrics And Popular Music

The most memorable aspect of a funeral tends to be the music. Music will be played as a coffin enters the Church and a different piece on the way out. the underlying theme of the funeral will probably denote what type of music this could be. Anything from classical music and religious song and organ sound to Rock and Roll and a favourite Boy Band. The music could be live or from a recording. The choice will be yours to make, you will be offered a selection of ideas too by the Celebrant or Funeral Director.

Music within the rest of the service would tend to come in the form of hymns and or a popular song sung. In all of these instances they would tend to have meaning. Perhaps the song lyrics remind the congregation of a special time or event. Or the hymn directly relates to the person who has died. The hymn may also be a favourite and has been requested in the Will.

Both religious and humanist funeral services can include hymns. Assemblies across the country and across many generations saw us all sing hymns and they stick with us through the ages. Hymns are also very much suited to the funeral atmosphere and have recognition and memories for most in attendance. Choose music, lyrics and religious wording that has meaning and defines the person you are saying goodbye too.


Not everyone is comfortable with choosing prayers to be read. Don't worry too much. Remember, you will be asked exacting questions that will help form a picture about the person. Enabling prayers to be relevant. In many cases the matches are so successful people recognise why they were chosen to be read at the service. Favourites and requests will of course be acknowledged, but there may also be certain funeral prayers that need reading also.


It could be said that the main part of the service is the Eulogy. This, aside from the personal touches you have made throughout the rest of the service, will celebrate their life and put it in to focus. We have detailed how to write a Eulogy. In essence it will be read out by one or several close family members and friends. It will give meaning to their life and hopefully provide a reason to those listening as to how they should live their life in a similar vein.

If you choose to organise a funeral service yourself, there is plenty of online literature and guidance from book that will assist. At the moment of someone's passing, where time is critical and suggestions very helpful, consulting a funeral celebrant or funeral director is probably the best avenue to take. Never shy away from asking questions and if you forget something, don't worry, you can always call them, it's their job to be there for you.​

Grab Your FREE copy of
'Beat The Funeral Price Hike'

It contains all the information you need to make an informed decision about planning ahead while saving money...

For my Brother's funeral, I was never sure he would have been happy with the difficult decisions we made for him. (...) A funeral plan seemed an interesting alternative. I found refreshingly different compared to the pushy “hard sell” websites..

Ben Griffiths, Brighton

The free call that i got from FuneralGuide helped me to decide that I didn't want to leave my kids with that kind of burden.

Steve Bailey, Hertfordshire

Recommended reading - funeral planning guides: 
Funeral Jargon Buster
Funeral Jargon-Buster Administrator : A person appointed by the Probate Registry to oversee a deceased's persons estate and manage its dispersal,[...]
Roles of Executor and Administrator
What are the roles of executor & administrator?At the moment a person passes away, several agendas are set in motion.[...]
Cremation Costs & Planning Arrangements
Guide to Cremation & Expected CostsA Cremation is the most popular Funeral and funeral rite in the UK currently. There[...]
Guide to Burial Costs & Arrangements
Guide to burial costs & the varying options available to youIn the UK there are several religious and natural methods[...]
How to handle an estate after a death
How to handle an estate after a death?When a person dies, unfortunately there exists no great machine that sets in motion[...]
Guide to Pet Care After the Death of An Owner
How to care for a pet after the owner has passed awayA lot of people in their twilight years have[...]
Guide to Green Funerals, Natural Woodland Burials
Guide to green funerals & natural woodland burialsQuick Navigation (click to expand) Quick NavigationWhat Are Green Funerals And Why Have[...]
The Guide to Memorial Services
The Guide to Memorial ServicesYou may have seen on the television and in the media that some people and celebrities[...]
How To Write A Eulogy
How to write a eulogyFunerals are often remembered on account of the words that are spoken within the frame of[...]
How to plan a funeral service
How to plan a funeral service your wayYou will need to plan a funeral service, plan a wake and plan[...]
How to write an obituary
How to write an obituaryYou may wonder if in the digital age death notices still work. It all depends on[...]
How to organise a wake
How to organise a wakeThere are several set ways and traditions that society has developed to allow many people to[...]
Guide to Humanist Non Religious Funerals
The guide to humanist non religious funeralsQuick Navigation (Click to expand) Quick NavigationHow Do You Plan A Humanist Funeral?What Is[...]
What is a Celebrant?
Funeral Celebrants: Their Role & Associates CostsThere are some services that don't change much over the course of a century[...]
DIY Funerals
DIY Funerals - A Short GuideQuick Navigation (click to expand) Quick NavigationFinding a place to keep the bodyWhich situations would[...]
How to choose a Coffin or Casket
How to choose a coffin or casketArranging a funeral need not be the complicated scenario you envision. It only seems[...]
How to choose an Urn
How to choose an UrnIt is often the case that a person will write in their will how they wish[...]
Pension annuities
Pension Annuities: The Comprehensive GuideMost of us work many years in a row to reach a day when our National[...]
Lasting Power of Attorney
The Guide To Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA's)At any point in our lives we can come across the terminology surrounding[...]
Wills & Will Writing
The Over 50's Guide to Will Writing ServicesThe chances are, you don't have a will. Statistically, in the UK less[...]
Article Headline: How to plan a funeral service... Article Description: How to plan a funeral service successfully. From choosing appropriate Readings, Literature to Hymns, Music & Prayers, finally the Eulogy Published Date: 05/06/2017 Publisher Name: Logo URL:
Funeral Guide