How to Write and Deliver a Eulogy
Eulogies offer the chance to say a final farewell to the person who has died and to acknowledge their life and achievements. Eulogies are as unique as the person they are written about, but there are some factors to consider before you start writing. Here at Douch Funeral Directors, we have put together a guide on how to write and deliver a eulogy.
Who should give the eulogy?
It is usually a family member close to the deceased who decides who delivers the eulogy at a funeral service. A large proportion of eulogies are given by close family members, such as brothers, sisters and for grandparents, their grandchildren. The special bond between family members is often reflected in an emotional and moving eulogy.
Close friends can also give eulogies and often have many memories and stories to share about their friend’s life.
If you are unsure who should give the eulogy, consider who would be most comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. Choosing who will deliver the eulogy tends to come naturally and often, the person most suitable will express their desire to do so early on.
How to write a eulogy
Depending on the circumstances, eulogies can be delivered as a personal speech sharing anecdotes and special memories, or they can take a more formal tone discussing the person’s career and achievements.
Putting together a mood board, a short biography or even thinking of words that best describe the person are all great ways to get started.
- Memories & anecdotes
Before writing a eulogy, you may want to talk to close relatives, friends and colleagues to help remember memories correctly. Many people choose to tell personal anecdotes – but keep in mind other guests and try not to exclude them with ‘you had to be there’ stories. Light-hearted anecdotes are acceptable but avoid telling embarrassing or distasteful stories.
For some, putting feelings into words when writing a eulogy is challenging. If you are struggling to find the right words, reciting a beautiful poem at their funeral might be the answer.
- Talents, hobbies and passions
Celebrate your loved one’s life by speaking about the talents, hobbies and passions they had throughout their life. All these things are expressions of our unique personality and are the type of things people like to be remembered for.
How long should a eulogy be?
If you have never written a eulogy before or listened to one by someone else, you might not know what length is expected. Typically, a eulogy should be around three to five minutes long and no longer than 10 minutes. If you’re not sure how this translates into words, you’ll want to aim for around 500-1000 words – this part is up to you and there is no right or wrong.
Practising and delivering a eulogy
Practising your eulogy alone or with a friend or relative is a good idea as it gives you an idea of how long it is and ensures there are no errors. They may also give you useful feedback or remind you of the memories you hadn’t thought of when writing.
When you deliver a eulogy it’s important to speak slowly, no matter how anxious you may be. Taking short pauses can help to slow you down and offers the chance for people to take in what you’re saying too.
At Douch Family Funeral Directors we’re here when you need us, day or night. When it comes to planning a unique funeral service, we’ll provide you with all the support and advice you need. For more information or to enquire about our funeral packages, contact us today on 0800 032 9770 or get in touch using our contact form.