Use or adapt this order-of-service template when planning a Jewish funeral or memorial service. You can complete and print it as is, and give copies to those attending. You can include the transliterations and English translations of the communal prayers offered here. You can also insert the information gathered here as part of a more elaborate funeral or memorial service program that's distributed before the service.
This template should produce an order of service that looks similar to this sample. If you're unfamiliar with Jewish funeral services, see FAQ: How Is a Jewish Funeral Service Different From Other Funeral Services?
Those attending or participating in the service will usually find it helpful to have some written guidance about the steps the service will follow, plus identification of who's involved in leading them. It will also help those who are officiating to proceed smoothly.
While all three Jewish sects use the same general format for the brief funeral service, the Orthodox sect uses more of the Hebrew language, the Conservative uses only half, while the Reform uses no Hebrew at all, with the exception of the Kaddish prayer.
Is the link not working for you? The file below is in a pdf format. To open it, you will need to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat, which is free and safe software for your Mac or PC.
Order of Service
[Enter the complete named of the deceased, with the place and date of the service, if that information isn't included elsewhere.]
Officiated by [Insert the name of the rabbi or service leader]
Pallbearers include [Insert their names and relationship to the deceased]
Reading of Psalms
[Commonly Psalms 15, 23, 24, 90, or 103. These will be recited by the service leader.]
By [Include the names of those involved, and their relationship to the deceased. For help with writing and delivering a meaningful eulogy, and to see sample written and spoken eulogies, see Funeral and Memorial Eulogies.
A Prayer of Remembrance: El Maleh Rachamim
El Maleh Rachamim
God, Filled with Compassion
El Maleh Rachamim
God, filled with Motherly Compassion,
grant a full and perfect rest
under the wings of Your sheltering Sh'khinah/ Presence
-- among the lofty, holy, and pure,
radiant as the shining firmament --
to the soul of [name of deceased]
who has gone to [his or her] eternal rest
as all [his or her] family and friends
pray for the elevation of [his or her] soul.
[His or Her] resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden.
Please, Master of Mercy,
envelop [him or her]
in Your comforting, protecting wings forever;
Bind up [his or her] soul in the Bond of Life.
For You are [his or her] Portion, [his or her] Inheritance.
May [he or she] rest securely in Peace,
and we say:
El ma'aleh rachamim
Hahm'tzey m'nucha n'chona tachat kanfei ha'shechina
Bahma'alot k'doshim u't'horim k'zohar ha'rekiya mahz'hirim
Et nishmot kol eleh sheh'hiz'karnu ha-yom.
Baal ha-rachamim, yistireym b'seter k'nahfahv l'olamim.
V'yotz-ror bitzror ha'chayyim et nishmotam bah'shalom,
Lowering of the Casket
[If this is a graveside service, conclude with the lower of the casket.]
Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will.
May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
He who creates peace in His celestial heights,
may He create peace for us and for all Israel;
and say, Amen.
Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'mei raba b'alma di-v'ra
chirutei, v'yamlich malchutei b'chayeichon
uvyomeichon uvchayei d'chol beit yisrael, ba'agala
uvizman kariv, v'im'ru: "amen."
Y'hei sh'mei raba m'varach l'alam ul'almei almaya.
Yitbarach v'yishtabach, v'yitpa'ar v'yitromam
v'yitnaseh, v'yithadar v'yit'aleh v'yit'halal sh'mei
d'kud'sha, b'rich hu,
l'eila min-kol-birchata v'shirata, tushb'chata
v'nechemata da'amiran b'alma, v'im'ru: "amen."
Y'hei shlama raba min-sh'maya v'chayim aleinu
v'al-kol-yisrael, v'im'ru: "amen."
Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu
v'al kol-yisrael, v'imru: "amen."
Offering of Consolation
May the Holy One comfort you together with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Ha-makon yinahem et-hem b'tokh sha'ar aveleir tzion v'yerushalayim.
Mourners are invited to share in a consolation meal at [Insert address].