A eulogy is a speech given at a funeral service in memory of the deceased. It is an opportunity to celebrate the life of the person who has passed away, and to share memories with others who are grieving. If you have been asked to write and deliver a eulogy, or write a Calgary obituary, know it is an honour and a privilege – but it can also be a daunting responsibility.
As a leading funeral service provider in Calgary, Country Hills Crematorium wants you to be prepared for every element of a memorial ceremony, so here are some tips on how to write and deliver a eulogy or obituary that will be meaningful for you, your audience, and your loved one.
First, know your audience. Are you speaking to close family and friends who knew the deceased well, or a larger group of acquaintances who are paying their respects? Your eulogy should be geared towards your audience. If you are speaking to close family and friends, you can be more personal in your memories. If you are speaking to acquaintances or people who did not know the deceased well, you should focus on stories that paint a picture of who the person was.
The next thing to keep in mind is time; try to keep your eulogy fairly short. A eulogy is an opportunity to give a glimpse into the life of your loved one. It should only be about 5-10 minutes long, and although this may seem like a short amount of time, it will feel much longer when you are standing up in front of a group of people delivering it. So, try to focus on one or two main points that you want to make about the person’s life.
When it comes to your eulogy, try to focus on talking about what made the person special. Reflect on some of th things that made your loved one unique. Ask yourself, What did they love? What were they passionate about? Share stories about these things with your audience; it’s important to gather and grieve together, which can be enriched with fond memories or personal characteristics.
Maybe you are speaking at a celebration of life; services differ from person to person, and some gatherings might appreciate a little bit of humour. Smiles can go a long way when helping people to remember the happy times they shared with their loved one. If you do take this route, be careful not to overdo it or to use overzealous humor, as it might offend someone in the audience.
Lastly, practice your eulogy before reading it aloud to an audience. This is probably the most important tip on this list. You may want to deliver your eulogy without reading from a piece of paper, so practicing beforehand is key. Read it out loud several times so that you are comfortable with the material and can deliver it confidently on the day of the funeral or memorial service.
Writing and delivering a eulogy can be both an honour and a challenge. At Country Hills Crematorium, we want you help you feel prepared, calm, and clear. We hope that by following these tips, you can confidently write and deliver a eulogy that will be both meaningful for you and your audience.