- Introduce yourself and your relationship to your loved one.
- Include a short poem, quote, or song lyrics that was a favorite of your loved one.
- Mention a saying that they were known for using often.
- Share a personal story that sums up their life, sense of humor, or passion.
- Don’t be afraid to use appropriate humor to lighten the mood.
- Tell about the life of your loved one, perhaps from their childhood.
- Describe positive traits about them.
- Include Bible verses, poems, or eulogy quotes that will offer comfort.
- Offer condolences to loved ones in attendance.
- Consider ending with a quote or playing a favorite song. Remember to give your funeral director the song title and artist the day before so he or she can have it ready.
Less is more
Don’t stress about the length of your eulogy, so keep telling yourself that "less is more." Create a eulogy that you can deliver in around five minutes.
Keep it Personal
Share a story that illustrates something your loved one enjoyed—especially if you were also part of that story. If you can't think of a firsthand story to share, talk to a close family member or friend and borrow one from them.
Keep it Written
Even people who earn a living making speeches use a written copy of their remarks. If the professionals use a written copy of their speeches, then you should too. Remember to practice your eulogy to make sure it's long enough, but there is absolutely no reason to feel you must deliver your remarks from memory.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Have a bottle of water handy, as well as a handkerchief or tissues.
- Have a back-up plan. If you can't continue, have someone else on hand and prepared to deliver the speech for you. Give that person a copy of the eulogy before hand, just in case.
- Remember that it's okay to show emotion. If you become emotional and start to cry, that's perfectly normal. Take time to regain your composure, but if you're unable, defer to your back-up person.
"My sister Elizabeth never took life too seriously. She was the first to offer a joke to lighten the mood or play a prank to get people laughing. Her positivity and cheerfulness shined through her speech and actions, even in her wardrobe. In fact, if she were here, she would probably be reprimanding us all for our dark and gloomy outfit choices.
Growing up, Liz was always finding ways to make people smile. Even when someone was having a terrible day, she knew just what to say to cheer them up. It’s a quality I’ve always admired and envied about my older sister. Her ability to care for people led to her career as a nurse. She spent her days caring for and consoling others. I have no doubt that she has touched many lives, including all of ours.
Some of you may not know that Elizabeth was also a very spiritual person. She loved to sing and often mentioned that she felt closest to God while singing from the choir loft. In honor of Liz, I’d like play her favorite song, It Is Well With My Soul."
Check out these resources for more information to help you write a eulogy:
- Top 10 Poems for a Funeral Ceremony. Ten short readings that would enhance a eulogy.
- Top 15 Bible Verses for a Celebration of Life Service. Find comfort in Scripture readings for a funeral or memorial.
- Poems for Funerals. Classic funeral poetry online at Poets.org
- 75 of the Best Funeral Songs. Funeral appropriate songs in many different categories to help you find the right one.
- Top 10 Hymns for a Funeral Ceremony. Timeless songs of faith to honor the life of a loved one.