October 10, 2020
What is a Eulogy?
Although there are many spoken traditions in funeral services—such as the use of hymns or prayers—eulogies also play an important role in honoring the life of the deceased. Eulogies offer the speaker—and the audience—a chance to truly reflect on the departed and the memories shared with them.
Who Provides Eulogies?
Typically, eulogies are given by just one or two people who are chosen by surviving family members. Most eulogies are given by close relatives, children, friends or members of a congregation. When selecting an individual to give a eulogy, it is important to select someone who is close to the deceased and can offer genuine words on the individual’s life and memories.
How Can I Prepare for a Eulogy?
Those who are asked to deliver a eulogy may feel that there is a lot of pressure to deliver an exceptional speech. However, it is important to remember that this commemoration does not necessarily hold the speaker as the focus—as it is designed to honor the deceased. There are many ways to deliver a eulogy, and practice is recommended for those who are nervous about the speech.
It is recommended that in order to understand how their speech will play a part in the overall procession of the event, individuals speak with whoever is arranging the funeral service. Eulogies are typically brief, lasting only a few minutes.
Those preparing for a eulogy are encouraged to make an outline to deliver a smooth speech and to make sure to address the audience in order to connect with the entire crowd. Exploring a significant memory, even humorous or emotional, can be a great way to emphasize the personality and values of the deceased.
What If I Want to Give a Speech, But Was Not Asked to Give a Eulogy?
Wakes are more informal than funeral services and offer more time and flexibility for individuals to share their memories and well wishes with loved ones. While only one or two individuals may be asked to provide a eulogy at a funeral service, other loved ones may have a chance to deliver a speech at the wake.
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