Funeral Speeches - A Few Words

There are many different types of funeral speeches.  Usually, the minister will give a short speech or read a few scriptures.  Sometimes, like at a full Catholic funeral, there will also be a mass and a homily.  Other times, family members will make short funeral speeches about their loved one, and most often, someone will read a eulogy.  If you were close to the deceased, you may be asked to speak at the funeral, and it helps to know what each of the different funeral speeches will be about so you can write an appropriate one.

The minister’s speech will vary depending on several factors.  First is the denomination of the church.  Catholic funerals will involve the minister reading scripture and giving a sermon, while other denominations may have the minister giving only a short welcome before asking the family to come forth to speak.  One thing to note here is that ministers, preachers, and other church officials generally don’t ask for input into what they’re going to say.  In some cases, they may say things that not everyone will agree with.  In other cases, especially if the official did not know the deceased very well, they may ask the family for information or may simply say only a few words before asking others to speak.

Funeral speeches generally also include a eulogy.  This is a longer speech than those given by friend and family members, and usually the person giving the eulogy is selected by the family.  Sometimes, he or she is a relative of the deceased, but not always.  The eulogy recounts the person’s life, although it doesn’t always have to be a chronology or list of what they’ve done.  Often, it includes personal anecdotes, quotes, and sometimes even humorous moments.

Sometimes, family and friends are given the chance to make their own funeral speeches.  These are usually shorter than the eulogy and focus on the relationship the speaker had with the deceased.  Again, sometimes people are specifically invited to speak at the funeral, and sometimes anyone who wishes to can step forward and say a few words.  It’s best to check with the minister or a close family member before the service if you wish to speak.

If you do plan to participate in the funeral speeches, think carefully before speaking.  It’s often a good idea to at least make an outline of the points you want to make before you speak.  Funerals are a highly emotional time, and not only do you have to be aware of your own emotions, you also have to be careful not to upset others more than they already are.