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Condolence Message Examples - Tips On Writing A Touching Sympathy Message

The condolence message samples we have provided are based on different possible scenarios and cover a variety of relationships for which condolence messages may be required. They are based on common real life scenarios, and adapted from actual condolence letters.

Rules of Etiquette for Condolence Messages

These rules serve as basic guidelines to ensure that you don't unintentionally say the wrong thing in a sympathy message

  • Keep them short yet thoughtful
  • Try to mention a fond or funny memory of the deceased if we knew them
  • Respect religious beliefs. Some people may believe in reincarnation rather than heaven, or could be atheists. Whatever their belief, they still deserve sympathy.
  • Sign with a full name (first and surname) - This is good practice as there might be other relatives or friends with the same first name as you.
  • Never offer financial help
  • Never mention money the deceased may have owed you. This can be dealt with after the grieving period has passed.
  • Do offer to help in other ways such as offering to cook a nice meal for them, or help with chores

How to Begin Your Message

Letters of sympathy and condolences are personal, and so you should first mention the name of the person you are addressing. Some of the ways you can do that are:

  • Dear _______,
  • My Dear Friend _______,
  • Dearest _______,
  • Dear Mrs. _______,
  • Dear Mr. _______,
  • Dear Cousin _______,
  • Dear Uncle _______,
  • Dear Aunt _______,

Sympathy Message Samples for What to Say First in Your Condolence Letter

Informal Condolence Messages

For less intimate relationships, say the family of a co-worker who has died, a single sentence on a card will suffice. Some single sentence condolence message samples might be:

  • We are saddened to hear of your sudden loss.
  • Our hearts are with you in this time of sorrow.
  • Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one.
  • Words can't express how saddened we are to hear of your loss.
  • Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this tragic time.
Longer Condolence Message Samples

If you knew the deceased and would like to say more than a single sentence you can use phrases such as:

On behalf of the Rugby Football club let me pass our deepest condolences on the recent passing of club legend _____. To say _____ was a larger than life character would be an understatement. He will always be remembered as a great team player – verified by his many awards. His on the field competitive style and skill were only surpassed by his incredible positive influence and zest for life off the field.

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

I pray that the many happy memories of _____’s life with all of you will, with time, overcome the sadness and pain that have accompanied you all as you journeyed these later years with _____. _____ did a lot in the community, but I particularly remember hi/her dedication to our church. He/she worked tirelessly and was a good friend to all. I will always remember our happy times in _____. Please be assured of my prayers.

Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear _____. I have so many happy memories of spending time at each other's homes when we were growing up. We were very lucky. I know your _____ fought a brave battle. God bless him/her and all of you at this time of sorrow.

Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.

I'm really saddened to hear of your wonderful father's death. He was an extraordinary man. There are many in the community who will mourn deeply his passing as his was a life of service, love, compassion and excellence. May he rest in peace.

Our condolences to the _____Family upon the passing of _____. May you always hold fond memories of his/her life with you.

It was with great sadness that we learned of _____'s passing. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and we hope that in a small way they help through these trying times.

Sympathy Messages You Can Use to Close Your Letter

  • With my undying sympathy,
  • With our deepest sympathy,
  • You are in our thoughts and prayers,
  • May you find comfort in those around you,
  • May your many memories of your _____ help to sustain you at this most difficult time,
  • May God Bless you during this time,
  • With much love and sympathy,
  • From your friends _____ and _____,
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
  • With our deepest condolences,

Sympathy Samples You Can Send With Flowers

Flowers say what words can’t, and they are always a welcomed addition to messages of sympathy. Our condolence message samples are perfect for the card that will accompany your gift if you order sympathy flowers or sympathy gifts online for delivery. Below are some of the most appropriate and appreciated sentiments to use as words of condolences for flower message cards:

  • May these flowers serve as an expression of my deepest condolences.
  • May these flowers remind you of our loving thoughts and prayers.
  • Please know that we are thinking of you and your family during this time of sorrow
  • With hope that it helps you to know we care.
  • With warm and heartfelt sympathy.
  • With blessings, love and prayers.
  • May these flowers express what our words never will.
  • May this small monetary gift help you through a difficult time.
  • Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
  • With our deepest and heartfelt condolences.

Condolence Message Samples Appropriate for Social Media

In today’s world many people use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to send condolences. You might say something like:

  • You are in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Thinking of you during this difficult time.
  • Extending heartfelt condolences at this difficult time.
  • So sorry to hear the news of _____’s passing.
  • My heart goes out to you and your family on the passing of _____.
  • Please accept our heartfelt condolences for your loss.
  • My prayers are with you and family.
  • Heartfelt thoughts go out to you in this time of sorrow.
  • My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
  • May God give you comfort in your time of grief.

Glossary of Terms Used in Our Condolence Message Samples:

You may find some of the following terms in some of our samples:

  • Sympathy Cards - A card sent to the family to express their sympathy
  • Private Service - This service is by invitation only and may be held at a place of worship, a funeral home, or a family home.
  • Pallbearers – Selected persons responsible for carrying the casket during funeral service. Pallbearers in some regions are hired and in other areas close friends and relatives of the deceased perform this service.
  • Memorial Service - A religious service conducted in memory of the deceased without the remains being present
  • Obituary: notice of death that contains biographical details of the deceased; usually a newspaper notice
  • Viewing: when the deceased is available to be visited and seen by friends and relatives before or after the funeral service
  • Funeral Home - A building used for the purpose of embalming, arranging, and conducting funerals.
  • Funeral Service: religious or other rites performed before final disposition of a deceased body
  • Eulogy - A brief speech that offers praise and celebrates the life of the person who has died.

Common Misspellings

Makes sure you avoid these common spelling mistakes if substituting your own words for any in our examples.

  • Condolense
  • Condolesens
  • Simpathy
  • Simpathie
  • Preyers
  • Blesings
  • Simpothy
  • Simpothie