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Giving a Eulogy Hero Label

Giving a Eulogy

photo: two men kneel at a pew in a cathedral with priest at alter in background

As a close friend or a family member, you may be asked to write and give a eulogy at a funeral. It is both an honor and an opportunity to honor someone. You don't have to accept if you are not comfortable or it makes you more upset, just 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 for how it may be received by all. Consider asking what other speakers will be covering to help avoid either repetition or leaving something out.

You May Include a Reading

If you like, include a poem, passage, or any sort reading you feel reflects your emotions or your friend's life.

Stay Focused

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

Pay Attention to Length and Duration

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.

Focus on Delivery

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 and continue when you can.