The Funeral Speech
The funeral or memorial speech is an integral part of most funeral and memorial services. Funeral speeches include formal eulogies or tributes as well as informal reflections, remembrances and comments. Funerals, Homegoings and Celebration of Life services include a mix of these funeral speeches to ensure that all close family and friends are given a chance to reflect on their relationship with the deceased, and offer comfort to mourners. It is considered an honor to be asked to deliver a funeral speech.
There are several types of funeral speeches.
Eulogies -- This is the most common funeral speech. A eulogy is usually the main speech that praises and offers testimonial to the deceased's life. Eulogies typically are from 5 - 15 minutes.
Tributes -- Sometime tributes are interchangeable with eulogies. Often, tributes are usual shorter and slightly more informal than a eulogy and are given in addition the formal eulogy. Tributes gives other close friends and relative a chance to reflect on relationship with the deceased. May include very personal memories or funny stories about the deceased.
Reflections / Remembrances / Informal Comments. -- Can be co-workers, close friends, usually relationships other than family members. Usually limited to 2 minutes.
Here are a few tips for composing a funeral speech.
Take time to prepare -- Whether you are just giving informal comments or a formal eulogy, you want to take time to prepare what you plan to say.
Write down specific memories, or qualities of the deceased that you may want to share. See our articles on "how to write a eulogy" and our eulogy writing checklist. Also check out our collection of sample eulogies.
Print your speech, or use note cards so that you can refer to it if you forget what you are going to say. Use a large font for so that it's easy to read.
Try to speak in a natural and conversational tone.
Practice your speech
Be mindful of the length of your speech. If asked to give eulogy funeral speech -- try to keep it between 5 - 15 minutes. If asked to give reflections or just "say a few words" try to limit to 2 minutes, as there are often several other people who may have been asked to speak
If composing original tribute is too difficult, you may choose to recite a poem, favorite passage or scripture. see our articles on funeral readings, funeral and memorial poems, bible verses for funerals and funeral quotes.