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How to write a eulogy

This step-by-step guide will explain how to write a eulogy to pay tribute to the deceased at a funeral. Eulogies help remind everyone of your favourite memories and the legacy of their loved one.

These simple steps will help you write and deliver a eulogy:

  1. Decide who is giving the eulogy
  2. Write down what you would like to say
  3. Choose a structure that suits you
  4. Consider how long it will be
  5. Think about the tone
  6. Check when it will be read during the service
  7. Practice reading it out loud

What is a eulogy?

A eulogy is the name given to a speech at a funeral commemorating the life of the person who has passed. It’s an important way of saying goodbye and can often provide comfort to those who are grieving.

Who gives the eulogy at a funeral?

The eulogy is often seen as one of the most important parts of the funeral service, though there is no right or wrong when choosing who should deliver it.

Family closest to the deceased will ultimately have the final say. A eulogy is typically given by a close family member, friend or a minister. There’s no reason why two people cannot deliver the eulogy, or in some cases, it may be more appropriate to open the eulogies to all attendees. This may help celebrate their life and ensure everyone gets a chance to tell their most memorable memories – if time allows.

What to say in a eulogy

The eulogy is a great honour and a vital part of the ceremony, offering you the chance to remember your loved one and celebrate their life. As long as you’re respectful, you can mention anything you like, and it may best to prepare and write down what you’re going to say. Think about what made your loved one so special and what memories you have of them.

The following questions should help you get started when writing a eulogy:

  • What words would you use to describe them?
  • What is your favourite memory of them?
  • What impact did they have on your life?
  • Are there any funny stories that come to mind?
  • What were their likes and dislikes?
  • What are the highlights of their life story?
  • How would they like to be remembered?
  • If you were able to tell them one last thing, what would it be?

It’s also worth talking to family or close friends about the times they shared with your loved one and what fond memories they have of their own.

How to structure a eulogy

Many people choose to write a eulogy in chronological order with a small personal note at the end. There’s also the option of dividing it into different sections, beginning with their childhood and working through memorable moments of their life or even writing it as a letter to them.

How long should a eulogy be?

It’s important to keep in mind that some funeral venues will only allocate a specific amount of time for a funeral service. There’s no set rule for how long a eulogy should be, though five to ten minutes is quite common.

If you’re unsure or worried about timings, please speak to your local Funeral Director about the order of the service.

Can a eulogy be funny?

When it comes to writing a eulogy, you need to think about what tone will be most suitable. You may want to make it light-hearted or even quite humorous; on the other hand, a more formal approach may be more appropriate.

Consider the preferences of your loved one and the audience when deciding what tone to write in.

When is the eulogy read at a funeral?

The eulogy is typically delivered during the funeral service. Your funeral director will help you create the order of service, so it will be completely up to you when you would like the eulogy to be given.

How to deliver a eulogy

Practice makes perfect. Make sure you practice reading your eulogy out loud before the funeral, speaking clearly and slowly. Familiarising yourself with the words will help you understand how long it will take and where to pause if necessary.

Try not to fidget when delivering your eulogy as it may distract you from what you are saying. It’s also important to make eye contact with the audience, so the words become more personal for family and close friends.

Don’t worry if you change your mind about delivering the eulogy, it’s normal to ask someone else to deliver it on your behalf.

If you're still unsure about how to write a eulogy, we can help. Should you require any assistance, our caring funeral professionals will be able to help craft a memorable speech to help you commemorate you loved one in the best way possible. 

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