• on September 26, 2023

All You Need To Know About Writing An Appropriate Eulogy For A Funeral

When the sad task of arranging a funeral for a loved one occurs, the burden is lifted considerably due to funeral directors’ help, professionalism, and compassion. This invariably helps families through this dark time, knowing that the funeral arrangements are in good hands.

However, one task that funeral directors would not normally be expected to undertake is writing the eulogies to be read out during the funeral. A eulogy is extremely personal and often is an individual’s way of conveying how much the departed family member or friend meant to them. The problem here is that not everyone has written a eulogy before, and therefore unsure how to do so. Thankfully, we are here to help with our guide to writing a eulogy for a funeral.

What Is A Eulogy?

A eulogy is a short speech read out at someone’s funeral, usually by a person that knew them well, such as a member of their family or a close friend. They are extremely personal, so no two eulogies will be the same, and they are designed to provide a short, heartfelt farewell to the deceased. They can be extremely short or longer if the person had a long and full life that included lots of interesting, remarkable, and even funny events.

Eulogy Structure Options

  • Sombre or Amusing: No rule says a eulogy has to be grim and tearful. At the same time, it is not an excuse to get up and perform a comedy routine. The tone should match the person and how the family wishes to remember them. Be respectful but do not be afraid to include amusing stories about the person.
  • Chronological: Probably the easiest way to write a eulogy for someone is to go through their life in chronological order, outlining some of the main events that took place in their life, such as their childhood, their marriage, their children, and so on. A variation on this is to go backwards from their recent life and then go on to focus on their earlier life.
  • Focus On A Theme: One option that works well for eulogies is to focus on one aspect of the person that most people who knew them will be aware of. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about a positive trait that they had, such as their generosity, their loyalty, or to discuss their passion for a hobby or pastime.
  • Anecdotes: Telling stories about the person is another way you can structure their eulogy. Ideally, you want these stories to portray the person at their best, most successful, or funniest so that their personality shines through.

5 Parts Of A Perfect Eulogy

  • Introduce Yourself: Some funerals can have lots of attendees, and not everyone will know who you are. For this reason, you should start with a short introduction explaining who you are and, more specifically, your relationship to the deceased. If you are not a family member but instead a friend of the deceased, explain how, when, and where you first met them.
  • Acknowledge The Deceased’s Family: It is always respectful and normal eulogy protocol to acknowledge the deceased’s immediate family who will likely be sitting in the front row. You should do this even if you are one of the deceased’s immediate family and point them out so that others in attendance can identify them later when they wish to offer their respects after the funeral service.
  • Introduce The Deceased: Almost certainly everyone in attendance will know the person whose funeral it is so it might seem strange that we are suggesting you ‘introduce’ them. We say this because it allows you to briefly pay your initial respects to them and mention one or two facts about them that not everyone will know.
  • Deliver The Main Eulogy: This is where you deliver the main eulogy for the deceased. It can be based on one or more of the structure suggestions we gave you in the previous section. The best eulogies paint a picture of the deceased so that even those who did not know them that well can gain an insight into who they were and their personality.
  • Close By Saying Goodbye To The Deceased: The final part of the eulogy is where you get to say a final and personal farewell to the deceased. You might use a favourite quote or even arrange with the funeral director to cue up and play some music that was much loved by the deceased.