Whether planning a service or preparing a eulogy, understanding more about a good eulogy is worthwhile. A well-crafted speech intended to commemorate a loved one who has died, and is incorporated into a funeral service.
Tips for Preparing
- Inform the funeral home you would like to give a eulogy
- Be brief. A eulogy should be no longer than 5-6 minutes.
- Talk to friends and family to identify special memories
- Childhood memories
- Favorite song
- What was deceased like at work
- Favorite accomplishments
- Favorite memory
- Write out the eulogy.
- Speak from the heart.
- Practice the eulogy.
- A eulogy commemorates a life well-lived
- A eulogy is neither a toast nor a roast, nor is it a time to speak to life's unfairness.
- If humor is used, take great care to ensure it is meaningful and appropriate.
- Think about the deceased and the relationship you had. Recall where and when you met, things you did together, and humorous or touching memories.
- Share a few uplifting memories. Reference a couple of significant events. Reflect on a few values and passions. It is okay to bring up difficult times, especially if they demonstrate positive values and/or have a happy ending. If unsure about sharing something, review with those closest to the deceased.
- Demonstrate values and traits with stories. Describe an elaborate party. Share a favorite adventure. Share an example of generosity.
- Do not chronicle an entire life.
- Use large print and have more than one copy. If it is more than one page, have each page organized and numbered.
- Eulogy should be positive, to the point.
- Avoid Saying, "It was God's will." or "It's for the best." Such statements make no one feel better.
- Avoid minimizing the loss. That also makes no one feel better.
- Do not share inside jokes. The eulogy should be easily understood by all who will hear it. No one should feel uncomfortable.
- Forget that you are honoring a loved one's life. Stories of childhood antics, prom dates, pranks or other shenanigans rarely speak to the treasured values of a loved one. Again, no one should feel uncomfortable.
- Do not make it about you; it is about the deceased. Never say, "I don't know how I will go on" or Always remember that the eulogy is about the person who has died; it is not about the person who is delivering it.
- Arrive early to the service
- If there is not a microphone, practice how loud you will need to speak to be heard at the back of the space.
- Review with the clergy person or facilitator of the service when you are to speak. Is it after a specific reading or song? Are you going to be introduced?
- Remember to look at the audience as you speak.
- It is okay to show emotion.