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, talk to your celebrant or ourselves and we can guide you.