How to write a funeral speech
When it comes to saying goodbye to your loved one, writing a eulogy is one of the most common parts of a funeral service. It's not a mandatory element of the service, but especially in the UK, eulogies are often used to commemorate the life of a loved one.
Sometimes, writing the eulogy itself can be a difficult task to start - as you'll want to encompass the deceased's life as perfectly and accurately as possible. That's why we've put together this handy guide to help you to start writing your eulogy or funeral speech for a loved one.
What is a eulogy?
Firstly, a funeral speech, also known as a eulogy, is a commemorative speech which is a way to say goodbye, and remember a loved one. This often acts as a reflection of their life, which can be delivered in the structure of a timeline - but there are no set rules as to what you should say in a eulogy.
Who traditionally does the eulogy?
Usually, the person who gives the eulogy is someone close to the person who has died. Typically, this role falls to a family member - such as a son or daughter, if a parent has died, or a spouse of the deceased.
However, delivering a eulogy is never obligatory - and often, loved ones may come together to write the eulogy, and this can be delivered by the minister or reverend instead. This could be a suitable alternative if, as a loved one of the deceased, you are nervous or anxious about performing the eulogy.
How long should a eulogy be?
As a general rule, eulogies tend to last between 3 - 8 minutes - but this is dependent on a number of factors. Often, funeral services are kept to a certain time limit - usually just under 30 minutes - but this can be shorter to adhere to covid restrictions. This then means that, based on what else the funeral service includes (such as length of songs/hymns, additional readings, prayers) you might have an allocated amount of time for the eulogy. This is something you will be able to discuss with your funeral director.
What to say at a funeral speech
So, how should you start a eulogy? To begin, don't put too much pressure on the task in hand. These simple tips should help you begin to articulate your thoughts and feelings about your loved one:
How to start a eulogy
- Start by simply jotting down a few memories and moments which have left a lasting impression on you in note form.
- What were their interests/pastimes/hobbies? How did this play a role in their life?
- What were the milestones of their lives/highlights?
- Asking loved ones - gathering collective memories from loved ones such as relatives or close friends can provide various material for the eulogy.
The structure of a eulogy often follows in the form of a timeline - focussing on childhood, early adult years and into adult life, if this is applicable. Alternatively, another idea is that you could write the eulogy as a letter to them instead, if this is easier to articulate your feelings and thoughts.
- Delivery - consider who will be hearing the eulogy - as this might tailor how you'd speak about the deceased, and help you determine your tone for the delivery.
- Practice - make sure you have a run through of the eulogy a couple of times to time it, firstly, and also ensure that the tone is correct, the words are coherent, and you feel comfortable and strong enough to read through the speech.
- Have a backup - changing your mind about delivering the eulogy is not uncommon, so having someone as backup (whether that's another family member/close friend, or the minster/reverend delivering the service) is a good idea.
Now you've learnt how to write a eulogy, consider prepaid funeral plans - as this can alleviate the cost and emotional pressure from your loved ones when the time comes. For more information about our services, get in touch with our helpful team today.
- Posted 13th May 2021