All about the eulogy

This simple guide will help you design a eulogy to celebrate the life of a loved one.  The important thing to remember if you are going to speak at a funeral is to ensure you write down as much as you can, or at least have dot points to get through.

WHAT IS A EULOGY?

A eulogy are the words spoken to celebrate a persons life at their funeral.  It is an important part of saying goodbye and can be a cathartic process.  Eulogies help remind everyone of the good times, best memories and the legacy a loved one has left behind. 

WHY IS IT CUSTOMARY TO HAVE A FUNERAL SPEECH?

If you are holding a funeral service somewhere, other than a private direct cremation or burial, it is customary for a speech to be made to sum up the person's life, achievements and personality. A eulogy is the most important part of a funeral, with all other elements revolving around the eulogy, giving an insight into the person and celebrating their life and memory.

WHO GIVES THE EULOGY AT A FUNERAL?

Anyone can deliver a eulogy at a funeral.  Usually family will speak first, followed by close friends.  The family will have the final say on who speaks with the option of opening a service up to anyone to come forward and speaking being a personal one. 

The main eulogy about the loved one, their life and loves is typically given by a close family member or the celebrant. There's no rule regarding this and it can be read by one, two or three people. Speaking at a funeral is a hard thing to do so we suggest having a backup plan if you feel unable to read the eulogy on the day.  Our celebrants will always be there to help. 

THE FOLLOWING WILL HELP YOU PUT TOGETHER A EULOGY:

  • What words would you use to describe them? Their nature, laugh, sense of humour.
  • What is your favourite memory of them?
  • What impact did they have on your life?
  • Reflect on the funny stories
  • What did they like and dislikes?
  • What made them, unique or different?
  • What do you think they would want to be remembered for?
  • If you were able to say one last thing to them, what would it be?

HOW TO STRUCTURE A EULOGY

Most will choose to write a eulogy from birth to death, with personal reflections thrown in. Often a family will provide this timeline to the celebrant to read.  Family will then stand up to speak from a personal note about their own memorable moments of their life or even writing it as a letter to them.

HOW LONG SHOULD A EULOGY BE?

There is no set length for a eulogy. However, it is important to keep in mind that all venues have specific times and we need to keep within these timeslots.

If you think it will be a long service please talk to your funeral arranger about the best booking times to ensure the service is not rushed.,  There are ways of ensuring a comfortable service that doesn't feel rushed.

WHEN IS THE EULOGY READ AT A FUNERAL?

If you imagine a funeral is broken up into four parts:

  • The welcome and opening by the celebrant
  • The eulogy by family and friends
  • The reflection time, either photos or simply music only
  • The committal or farewell..

CAN A EULOGY BE FUNNY?

Yes, especially if the person was a character and humorous. The eulogy should reflect the character of the deceased.  

FUNERAL SPEECH EXAMPLES

If you're unsure how to start writing a eulogy, it can be useful to have a look at eulogy speech examples for inspiration.

Using a search engine there are many examples online.

HOW TO DELIVER A EULOGY

  • Speaking at a funeral is one of the hardest things you can do. Make sure you write everything down you want to say and have a practice run reading it to yourself ensuring the grammer makes sense.  Familiarizing yourself with the words will help you understand how long it will take and where to pause.
  • Some people avoid eye contact with those attending, so have no problems looking everyone in the eye.  It is a person choice and you do what feels right on the day. 

If you're still unsure about how to write a eulogy, to your celebrant or ourselves and we can guide you.