As a close friend or a family member, you may be asked to write and recite a eulogy at the funeral. You don’t have to accept if it makes you more upset, but be honest with the family if you would prefer not to speak. If you decide to do it, how do you know what to say? Here are few ideas to get you going:

Get Input

Approach the task with great sensitivity and caring for the deceased and his family. You might ask the family if there is anything they feel should be mentioned or not mentioned. Relate stories that show the deceased in a positive light, and handle any humor with care.

Including Readings

If you like, include a poem, passage, or anything else you feel reflects your friend’s life.

Stay Focused

Remember that the subject of your eulogy is the person’s best qualities, not your feelings.


The more eulogies to be delivered, the shorter yours should be—no less than two minutes, but no longer than eight to ten. It’s wise to have your friends read over your eulogy before you finalize it and to practice delivering it several times.


First, print your eulogy out in extra-large font so it will be easy to read. When giving the eulogy, take your time and speak in a conversational tone. The audience will understand if you get choked up, so simply take a second to breathe if that happens.