A guide to eulogies

April 17, 2019

What is a funeral eulogy?

A eulogy is a personal tribute to the deceased that helps mourners reflect on the person they knew and loved. It can be either a speech the reader has prepared themselves, quotes or a short reading. Traditionally, they were delivered by the priest conducting the funeral service but it is now much more common for a close friend or relative do it.

Eulogies are often the most personal part of the service as they discuss the life, achievements and personality of the person who has passed away.  Even though a lot of funerals now have less of a religious focus and are more about celebrations of life, eulogies remain at the heart of most services.

How long should it be?

The average eulogy is about 3-5 minutes long. Although there are going to be a lifetime of memories you will want to share, it is best to keep the eulogy relatively brief.

Writing your own eulogy

It has become increasingly popular for people to write their own eulogies in preparation for their death. Although thinking about death makes you realise how short life actually can be, it also makes you embrace and appreciate the time you have left and realise what you have achieved during your lifetime. You also have the control to set the tone of the funeral by adding funny stories you wish to be told. 

Things to remember before writing and reading a eulogy

  • It is a privilege – think of it as a gift you have been given and never a burden
  • Ask people for help – you are not alone in this. Asking other people to share their stories can help you with writing
  • Include some humour if possible – although eulogies are poignant, they are a brilliant way to remember someone and this will include the funny moments that happened during their life time. Life is a mixture of sad and happy moments, so its appropriate that eulogies consist of both elements as well
  • Prepare – although you may know exactly what you want to say, speaking on the day is a daunting prospect and may lead you to forget things. By writing it all down you can ensure that you stay on point, within the time frame and say all the important things you wanted to
  • Practice – make sure it flows naturally and is the correct length. Practicing in front of someone else is good as a fresh pair of ears can spot any mistakes you may have missed
  • Get their personality across – this is the time of the service where you need to get across what they were really like
  • Don’t dwell on any negativity – although people face challenges, the eulogy is best not to focus on these but on positive, happy memories instead
  • It doesn’t have to be perfect – the main thing is that its honest and has been written from the heart
  • Take some tissues – it doesn’t matter if you cry during the eulogy. This is expected. If you need to stop then take a few moments and continue when you can. No one will judge you for it as it’s brave to stand up and speak. If you need support, take someone up with you
  • Print it – make sure you have it double spaced for easy reading. Also, print it single sided to make it easier.

Hopefully this article has helped, but if you need any further advice then we’re here to help.

If you have recently been bereaved and would like help planning a loved one’s funeral, please contact Cravens Funerals. Our compassionate and professional team have years of experience creating funerals that are completely unique to the individual and respectful of the circumstances of their passing. For help and advice please contact us on 0151 228 3900 or leave us a message through our contact page by clicking here.