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Funeral Eulogy – “Good Words” About the Deceased

The term “eulogy” is a Greek word meaning “good words”. It is a speech or written praise for a person who is deceased or retiring. In the aspect of funeral eulogies, the praise is used during the funeral services in some religious denominations or cultures. Some groups do not allow eulogies since they are against the religious beliefs to follow the traditional practices.

Funeral eulogy, is to show respect to the deceased in the services. They are often fond memories or praises regarding the deceased to show the wonderful type of life the individual experienced. This form of expression should not be confused with obituaries, which are published as an announcement of the death of the person or an elegy that is a poem to commemorate the deceased. Obsequies also differ from eulogies since the obsequies are rituals included in some funerals services. In the Catholic religion, the priests are prohibited by the dictations of the Mass to present a eulogy of the deceased during the funeral.

A funeral eulogy is usually presented to the attending members of the funeral service by family members or personal friends of the deceased. They share the good or pleasant memories of the deceased in a celebration of their life and good deeds. Sometimes the eulogies are special memories shared with the deceased to express the events of the past that created the union with the deceased.

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The term tends to create a formal or stiff message for many people. This is due to the traditional beliefs that funerals are to be solemn and formal to pay respects in a quieter mourning fashion. This is not always the way some people will present their eulogy. They will include a funny story regarding the deceased to bring enlightenment to the event.

When you are going to present a eulogy, here are some tips to create a respectable and acceptable message.

Begin by gathering the facts biographically about the deceased such as their age, any marriages, or partnerships, places the deceased lived or grew up, any children or special people in their lives. Reflect on the memories of the deceased you have that represents the outstanding personality of the deceased. You may want to discuss various events with other family or friends to incorporate their memories as well to paint clear vivid picture of the deceased.

Decide on a theme for your presentation. The type of theme may be centered on a specific fond memory or a group of events that all share a common message. The theme could regard the way the person lived their life to help others in need or how they reached out to others without wanting anything in return. You can use phrases such as “Jim was someone who always found a way to help his friends at any time.” This phrase shows how Jim was always there for his friends. It conjures the image of a loving helpful Jim even in his death.

Organize the material on small index card so you can easily find the information during your speech. Number the cards at the bottom so you can put them in logical order and avoid losing your place during the speech.

Write out a draft of the final speech. Make a beginning and ending for the speech that will influence the audience about the deceased in a pleasant manner. A good beginning will captivate the group and the ending will bring heartfelt warm memories.

Practice the speech several times prior to the service so you are comfortable with the information and presentation. Remember to breathe during the speech and remain calm. Think of how you are paying homage to your beloved friend or family member and how you are telling them even in death that they were special to you. This will make the funeral eulogy easier when you think about the deceased hearing your words of love and respect.

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