As more and more people plan less traditional funeral services, some of the older elements often fall by the wayside. Should you allow funeral programs to be one of these traditions left behind? The decision is personal, but consider these five key factors in order to make the right decision.
1. Is the Budget Limited?
First, honestly assess the family or estate budget for the overall funeral arrangements. Some elements are easier to let go of than others. If you need to save money, memorial programs or cards are a good place to do so. For many, the flowers, casket, or services take natural priority.
2. Is the Service Complicated?
What sort of service and activities will happen during the funeral or memorial? The more complex the service, the more useful a program is to those gathered. People may need help following along or judging their own time constraints. This is also important if the service is not something that a number of guests are familiar with.
3. Do You Need to Give Information?
Funeral programs aren't just keepsakes. They also provide practical details for mourners. This may include things like the time and location of a graveside service or wake, information about donations in lieu of flowers, or how to contact the family later. Making announcements during the funeral can get cumbersome, so determine if it's a better idea to offload some announcements to a written program.
4. Can a Memorial Card Work?
If you don't have to provide a lot of details and there's some room in the budget, a memorial card is a good compromise. Cards are smaller and easier than programs, and they still provide photos, some information about the deceased, and a quote or scripture. But they are more easily taken and kept by guests. Make cards in any design you wish, such as a prayer card or a bookmark.
5. Are There Other Keepsakes?
If you want to skip the funeral program entirely, provide some options for others to mourn the person. Some families create a funeral website, for instance, or ask guests to take home some of the flowers after a wake. You might distribute seeds to be planted. Or provide a fund where guests can contribute to a special memorial everyone can enjoy. The alternatives can be very meaningful.
Where to Start
Consider your answers to these questions with the help of a qualified funeral home. With their expertise and recommendations, you'll soon find the best way to help everyone mourn your loved one and start moving forward. For more information, contact a funeral home near you.