Writing a eulogy

You may be giving a eulogy because of your close relationship to the deceased or because the family trusts you to honour his or her memory on behalf of family and friends.

A eulogy is best typed in large font for easy reading and ideally no more than two pages in length.

Some useful tips to writing a eulogy

  • Be honest and focus on the person’s positive qualities
  • Humour is acceptable if it fits the personality of the deceased
  • Keep it brief. Five to ten minutes is the norm, but it’s a good idea to verify that with the minister or funeral director
  • Consider interviewing family and friends

As a helpful guide, the following information is usually included:

  • When and where they were born
  • Nicknames or names known to others
  • Parents, brothers and sisters
  • Early childhood – localities and interests
  • Childhood friends
  • Some interesting or amusing stories from school or teenage years
  • Schooling and awards gained
  • Academic or trade qualifications and achievements
  • Work history
  • War or military service
  • Marriages and significant relationships
  • Children, grandchildren and other relatives
  • Sporting achievements
  • Religious associations, charity, community work
  • Club memberships and positions held
  • Details of historical significance
  • Hobbies, interest, crafts, etc
  • Preferences, likes and dislikes
  • Details of activities, music, theatre, etc
  • Special or amusing stories, sayings, qualities significant to others
  • Special readings, music or poetry may be included

It’s impossible to predict what emotions close family and friends will feel on the day. People can get overwhelmed, and having a backup speaker on hand who can step in and calmly take over a reading or eulogy at the last moment can be useful.

At Windsor Funeral Home, we can also arrange for the celebrant to give the eulogy for a small fee.