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How to Write a Eulogy & Eulogy Phrases

What is a Eulogy?

A Eulogy is a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly. It is a special tribute to someone who has just died.

Writing the Eulog

Structure

The Eulogy can be structured in a number of ways:

  • Chronological order
  • Following a theme that ran through the person’s life
  • Highlighting key events in the person’s life

Whatever structure you choose make it memorable and interesting for the audience. Decide on the tone for the Eulogy. It is serious or funny? A Eulogy does not have to be sombre. At the start of the Eulogy you should briefly introduce yourself if there are people there who do not know you. State your name and give a few words that describe how you are related to the deceased.

Content

When writing the Eulogy think of it as a short story. So ensure that it has a beginning, a middle and an end. The Eulogy should bring the loved one to life Elements that could be included:

  • Achievements
  • Characteristic sayings or their habits/foibles
  • Challenges they faced how they overcame them
  • The difficult times
  • The happy times
  • Their enduring qualities
  • Favourite sayings
  • Funny things they did or said
  • How they interacted with the community or friends
  • Talents and skills
  • What impact they made and what they have given to the next generation

Avoid Clichés

Clichés like “We are gathered here today” or “Dearly beloved” should be avoided. Start with something uplifting. A sentence that summarises that person’s life is always a good place to start.

Timing

Whilst the general rule is that the Eulogy should not be too long, it is difficult to suggest exact timings. An average Eulogy is 3-6 minutes long. Remember less is more and will have greater impact.

Delivering the Eulogy

Preparation

Practice reading the Eulogy to a friend. This will help you to see if it flows well and can identify if any adjustments need to be made to it. If anyone else is going to speak make sure you find out what they are saying to avoid duplication. Also any key facts should be checked with family members to ensure accuracy. Wear clothes that are appropriate to the occasion. They should not be a distraction to your audience.

Speaking

When delivering the Eulogy:

  • Stand up to give it as people as well as seeing you will hear the Eulogy better
  • Do not fidget or make any unnecessary gestures
  • Speak clearly and slowly
  • Do not worry if you miss anything as no-one will notice. Just carry on

If you get overcome with emotion then pause, take a dep breath and compose yourself before continuing. No-one is going to criticise you in such a situation.

Points to Consider

When composing the Eulogy think about the following:

  • Who is my audience?
  • How would the person like to be remembered?
  • What made them special?
  • Favourite interests, likes and dislikes?
  • When were they happiest?
  • Who was really close to them?
  • What did I really like about them?
  • What did other people really like about them?
  • What are the highlights of their life story?
  • If I could say only three things about them, what would they be?

Useful Eulogy Phrases

You will find that there are a lot of similar phrases which are just worded slightly different to each other. Some have been blended with others to form a longer phrase. Both these types of phrases have been included as examples in order for you to see how easy it would be for you to alter the wording in order to get a more personal feel or to suit your own particular requirements. However it is vital that you use only words and phrases that will be recognisable as appropriate for the deceased, otherwise your eulogy speech will sound contrived and false.

Reading the scenario scripts and the eulogy examples here will also give you a good idea of how and where the phrases fit in with the structure of the speech. 

See How To Officiate and Example Ceremony - Semi-Religious Cremation Service

Officiant Phrases and How to write a eulogy - Help videos.

Replace [Name] with the name of the lost loved one in the phrases below

[Name] was a well read articulate man/lady, as many people have commented, he/she was an interesting man/lady to listen and talk to, someone who could understand and appreciate your personal point of view.

and so began the life of the man that the people gathered here today were proud to call, their husband, their father, their grandfather, and their friend.

[Name] was very versatile in the area of home improvements, he could turn his hand in a professional manner to tasks that would leave most people totally perplexed, and he was always willing to help his family and friends with their little jobs around the house. Nothing was too much trouble.

A reliable, hard-working, kind and considerate man/lady.

Being mainly family orientated, Name had very few interests outside of his/her home and family circle, but he/she did love holidays, he/she was well travelled and had visited countries that most people can only dream of , perhaps it was some of the more exotic places he/she visited that gave him/her the inspiration for his/her cooking, another pastime he/she enjoyed and was happy to share with his/her family and friends

But despite his worsening illness, Name never grumbled or complained about his sometimes obvious discomfort, a rare virtue in any man.

[Name] loved holidays, there's probably not a European country that he/she hasn't visited at one time or another, for [Name], holidays were not only fun, they were a valid and worthwhile way of observing and learning about different people and cultures, his/her interest was sincere and genuine.

[Name] wasn't a materialistic person, he/she was more than contented with what he/she already had around him/her, his/her home, his/her wife/husband, and his/her family.

[Name] was a friend to so many people and touched so many lives in so many different ways.

[Name] had a very wide range of musical taste, and we had great difficulty in choosing something appropriate that [Name] would have liked, purely because we had so much to choose from, name did like Andrew Lloyd Webber, that was Elaine Paige singing Memory, I think [Name] would have approved of our choice.

[Name's] integrity was never questioned, it was quite obvious to everyone that met him/her that he/she had something about him/her that was steadfast and true.

He/She had strong principles that he/she believed in and lived by but he/she was never judgemental and loved people for what they were.

[Name] had a great sense of humour, he/she was extremely witty and incredibly sharp, you had to come back with a very quick retort in order to avoid the occasional sting.

A focus of love and affection that radiated out and touched those of us who were privileged to know him/her.

We all have many happy memories of [Name] and these we must hold dear in our hearts and cherish them, as he/she cherished us.

Although [Name] was a loner he/she wasn't lonely, he/she had many friends and was a good hearted well liked and respected man/lady

[Name] had very high values and a strong sense of duty

[Name] selected his/her friends very carefully, if you were lucky enough to be counted as one of them, then you knew you had someone you could trust and rely on, someone with undeniable loyalty and honesty.

I think children may have felt endeared to [Name] because she herself had a young outlook on life, also I think because she could empathise with their search for knowledge and understanding of the world.

For [Name], being well educated, well read, and well travelled was not enough, there were other things to digest, local news, current affairs, politics, world news, these things were important to [Name], he/she wanted to keep in touch with what was going on.

As a young man, [Name] was a fiercely independent person who wanted to go his own way and do his own thing, but whatever his own thing was or whatever took his fancy, he always gave it his best shot. He would work hard and was willing and able to do the best he could in whatever challenge he faced.

[Name] was very much a private person, quite happy and content with his/her own company and his/her own way of life.

[Name] was a very intelligent, well-organized meticulous man/lady who would soon become bored when something did not hold his/her interest.

[Name] was well liked and respected, a self contained, well-organized man/woman who loved the countryside and did everything with absolute charm and efficiency.

A genuine, sincere, friendly fun loving man/lady.

A well-liked and well-respected man, someone you could trust and rely on, someone who enjoyed a bet on the horses, someone who would always stand you a pint.

[Name] was a quiet unassuming man/lady, a clever man/lady who loved quiz programs and crosswords or anything that taxed his/her brain.

[Name] was the mediator of the family, you could rely on his/her calm logical advice in times of family crisis, and in his/her own friendly and amicable way he/she would endeavour to keep everyone happy.

[Name] I'm sure, counted himself/herself lucky to have such a caring and loving family to help nurse and care for him/her as his/her condition deteriorated, and I'm also sure he/she gained a great deal of comfort from knowing they were there for him/her, as he/she had been in the past for them.

[Name] had always led a very active life, even up until just recently, it was a life well spent and enjoyed, with many happy times.

[Name] lived and enjoyed his/her life to the full, and made the most possible out of every single precious moment.

[Name's] optimistic, cheerful demena, I'm sure must have been a tonic and inspiration to many people

[Name] was a very well respected, well liked, popular man/lady, with lots of friends, many of whom are here today, and I'd like to take this opportunity to convey to his/her friends, a message of gratitude and appreciation from [Name's] family for their unconditional friendship and support to {Name] over the years.

[Name] was one of those very rare people that was able to talk intelligently and confidently to any person on any subject.

His/Her knowledge of the world and life was almost legendary, whether you were nine, nineteen or ninety if you were privileged enough to be seated at the table with him/her, you could be sure of an interesting and lively conversation.

[Name] was a wonderful storyteller; he/she had a fantastic memory and could recall the smallest but significant details of his/her life with great clarity and then magically weave them into his/her story.

She was a warm, loving, generous, compassionate, understanding mother and dear friend to you all.

[Name] was intelligent and articulate with a mathematical logical mind.

He/She could be serious when he/she needed to be and great fun when he/she didn't.

Many people come and go in our lives, but very few make a worthwhile memorable impression

[Name] was a very sociable person; he/she had a jovial character and a happy smiling face for everyone he/she met, which endeared him/her to lots of people.

Quite obviously sport, and in particular football has played a big part in [Name's] life, a devoted Sunderland supporter as he/she was. It was appropriate and meaningful that we came into the chapel earlier to "The Dance of the Knights", and also that the Sunderland football club emblem should be on the front of the order of service sheets.

 

 


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