How To Create A Meaningful Funeral > Eulogies

Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear.

- William Shakespeare
Poet, Playwright & Actor

The Power Of Eulogies At Funerals

The eulogy acknowledges the unique life of the person who died. It affirms the significance of that life for all who shared in it.

Without a eulogy and/or other personalised means of acknowledging a particular life and death, the funeral
often becomes an empty, cookie-cutter formality.

What’s worse, it implies that this unique and precious person’s life story just wasn’t worth gathering for and sharing.

How a Eulogy Adds Meaning To A Funeral

In addition to helping mourners recall the person who died, the eulogy also usually addresses the mourners’ search for meaning.

What did this person’s life mean? What value did it bring to those it touched?

Through the stories that it tells, the eulogy often suggests possible answers to these kinds of existential questions and can help begin to move those in attendance closer to a sense of peace.

The Eulogy Conversation Continues After The Funeral

At the gathering after the funeral, the eulogy often fosters conversation among those same family members and friends.

It gives them a common lifeline to hold onto as they support one another and give expression to their thoughts and feelings.

The Centre Of The Ceremony

Done well, the eulogy can be the most memory-filled moment in the funeral.

Whoever writes the eulogy can be encouraged to gather memories and thoughts from others to include in the remembrance, so the story is as rich and comprehensive as possible.

19 Things to Include in a Eulogy

  1. When and where was the deceased born
  2. Nicknames and/or names they are known to others by
  3. Parents’ names – where they met and married
  4. Brothers and sisters
  5. Early childhood – localities and interests
  6. Schools attended, awards gained
  7. Academic or trade qualifications and achievements
  8. Some interesting items about childhood days
  9. Details of any war or military service
  10. Details of marriages, divorces, children, significant relationships
  11. Details of grandchildren/great grandchildren
  12. Details of any club memberships, positions held
  13. Details of sporting achievements
  14. Details of any hobbies or interests, travel, crafts etc.
  15. Details of historical significance
  16. Preferences, likes and dislikes
  17. Details of activities e.g. music, theatre etc.
  18. Any special stories, sayings, qualities that are significant to others
  19. Special readings, music or poetry to be included

An Alternative To A Traditional Eulogy – An Option For Smaller Funerals

Instead of a formal eulogy, it’s possible to have funeral attendees stand up one at a time and share a memory
or thought. This often works well for small funerals.

Funeral attendees can also be asked to write down a brief memory on slips of paper given to them as they enter the room. These notes can then be read aloud by the celebrant or family members.

Simple Eulogy Template – How to write a eulogy

(Download PDF file here)


Hello everyone.


Thank you all for being with us today.


My name is __________ , and I am __________’s __________.


__________ was one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known, and I am honoured to be standing here in front of you today to talk about (his/her) life.


__________ was born on __________ in __________ .


(He/she) passed away, on __________ at __________ .


There is so much that happened in __________’s life, and there is simply no way I could cover everything today. But I’ll do my best to include some important events in __________’s life.


__________ was born to __________ and __________, and grew up in __________.


(He/she) was one of __________ siblings.


Growing up, __________ made many wonderful memories, some of which were __________ and __________ and __________.



When __________ came of age, (he/she) decided to __________.


(He/she) graduated from __________ in __________, and soon found work at __________ as a __________.


(He/she) worked there for __________ years.


In __________, __________ met and fell in love with __________.


Their story was one of love.


They courted for __________ and were married on __________.


They were married for __________ long and happy years.


If I could describe __________ to you in only a few short words, it would be __________ and __________.


(He/she) lived life to the fullest and was happy to show the world who (he/she) really was.


Some of __________’s favourite activities revolved around __________.


It was also one of (his/her) greatest joys in life to __________.


The wonderful thing about __________ was that (he/she) didn’t live for just (himself/herself).


Helping others, brightening other people’s lives also brought great joy to __________.


(He/she) was always helping and encouraging others by __________.


__________ had many things to be proud of in life, but (he/she) was most proud of __________ .


Allow me to elaborate: __________ .


And it was always obvious who the apple of (his/her) eye was, __________ .


I have many wonderful memories of __________.


I can’t go through them all today, but I can share these few special memories with you, ones that I will forever hold in my heart.


One time, __________ .


And another time, __________ .


But my favourite memory of all has to be __________ .


I’d now like to share __________’s favourite (verse/poem/quote).


I think it really goes to show just the type of amazing person (he/she) was: __________ .


In closing, I want to thank you all once again for being here today share this sad occasion as we prepare to say goodbye to __________ .


I also want to say a special thank-you to __________ for __________ .


And for __________ and __________ for travelling so far to be with us.


All your support, encouragement and words of comfort over recent days will always be remembered and cherished.


Finally, I want to say goodbye to you, __________ .


You were such a special person to many. And your legacy will live on in the beautiful memories you leave for all of us.


I will always love and remember you.

Source: Dr Alan Wolfelt & White Lady Funerals

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