The eulogy itself is typically given by a close family member, friend or a minister. There's no reason why two people cannot deliver the eulogy, or in some cases, it may be more appropriate to open the eulogies to all attendees.
A eulogy is most often written by an immediate family member or loved one of the deceased individual. This person should have spent a lot of time with the deceased and know them better than anybody else. Anybody can be a eulogizer from parents, to friends, to children.
Guest Speaker or Eulogist. Another important choice is the person or people who will write and deliver a speech – a eulogy – about the life of the person who has died. The speech is ideally given by someone who knew the person well enough to gather and share memories and highlights of his/her life.
If you've been asked to speak at a funeral, it's likely to be for someone close to you, such as your parents or a close friend. You'll want it to be as meaningful as possible, regardless of tone. Here are some general points and links to eulogy examples for a father, mother, and a friend.
Family members, friends, clergy, and/or funeral conductors often give eulogies. At very religious funerals it is common for only clergy to deliver eulogies. However, even at many religious funerals it is common for others to deliver eulogies as well.
In a eulogy, do not say anything about the person's cause of death, grudges and old grievances, arguments, character flaws, family rifts, or negative memories. Instead, share good memories and leave it out when in doubt.
For your opening statement, introduce yourself and who you were to the deceased. For example: “Hello everyone, for those of you that don't know me, I'm Jim and I'm Flora's oldest grandchild.” “Hi everybody, as Lisa just mentioned, my name is Tracey, and Anthony was my best friend from the age of 5.”
Though your eulogy doesn't have to read like an obituary or give all of the basic information about the life of the deceased, you should touch on a few key points, such as what his family life was like, what his career achievements were, and what hobbies and interests mattered the most to him.
We find that most eulogies are between five and ten minutes in duration. If you are sharing the eulogy with others aim for around three minutes each. Adjust the content of your remembrance speech to ensure it is not too brief, or too lengthy.
It is not written anywhere that you have to speak at your loved one's funeral. There are no rules requiring such a moment. If you feel compelled to greet and thank all those gathered or share your thoughts about your loved one, write your thoughts and have someone else read your words during the service.
Generally, between 400 and 900 written words will make for an appropriately timed eulogy when delivered orally. Above all, you must practice delivering your eulogy. It's not enough to simply write the speech—you need to say it out loud several times to become comfortable with how it sounds.
Eulogies can take many forms. Some people who deliver a eulogy choose to open with a poem, a religious reading, or a personal anecdote, while others might choose to use these elements as a closing thought. Regardless of which approach you choose, a reliable structure involves three parts: a beginning, middle, and end.
If you're unsure how to end your eulogy, finish with a simple goodbye, or a thank you for the memories you shared. You might choose to use traditional phrases like 'rest in peace' or 'sleep well'. Or you can use something less formal, like a greeting or joke you used to share with the person who has died.
Try to memorise the eulogy
Memorising your eulogy, or parts of it, will help you feel comfortable. Having the eulogy memorised will encourage you to look up at your audience, as well as make it easier for you if you are reading it and lose your spot. Make sure to have a written copy on hand when delivering the speech.
A eulogy typically includes an attention-getter, purpose of the speech, main points, and a conclusion. The attention-getter is usually a brief statement or anecdote to get the audience's attention and set the tone for the speech.
Here is a short eulogy example:
From the moment she shared her cookie with me on the first day of kindergarten, I knew we would be best friends. She spent many years working as a teacher, and her heart was big enough to offer individual attention to every child that walked into her classroom.
The best eulogies are respectful and solemn, but they also give mourners some comic relief. A bit of roasting is fine if it suits who the person was and the family has a sense of humor. Close your eulogy by directly addressing the person who died, something like “Joe, thank you for teaching me how to be a good father.”
How to End a Eulogy. The ending of your eulogy should be simple. Addressing the person who has died with a phrase such as, “We will miss you” or “Rest well on your journey, my friend” can be a good way to wrap up. You can also end with an inspirational quote if that feels better to you.