Eulogy Guidelines

Preparing the Eulogy

Being asked to deliver the eulogy is an honourable responsibility.  However, writing is not a strength we all hold and you may be thrown into panic.  Remember you are not alone and the eulogy doesn’t have to be perfect.  Family and friends attending the service will understand that this is a very emotional task.

Below are some tips and tricks in preparing a Eulogy.

How long should the Eulogy be?

Generally the eulogy is 5 to 10 minutes in length. While this may seem like a long period, you will find the time is easy to fill with all those precious memories yourself and others have to share.

Do I need to be a good writer?

Delivering a eulogy is more about being a story teller.  Reflect on the times you have shared stories with family and friends in the lounge room, at a party or at work.  Presenting the eulogy is simply another moment of “story telling”.  As you prepare the eulogy ask others what memories they have and include them in the life story you are delivering.

What format can I follow?

When thinking about what to put down on paper, consider the following information

1. Begin with the person’s history.

Note the significant events in chronological order: childhood, education, jobs, marriage, children, places lived, holiday destinations, etc.

2. Gather stories

Capture stories which reflect your loved one’s character. Your family and friends are there to help you add to these stories. Remember to include stories which others remember and relate to. Even the simplest stories are worthwhile; remembering their love of sweets, the way they drove along the road, their big powerful hug are a few examples which can help reflect the persons character.

Answers to the following questions may also be useful to be included:

  • How did you first meet and become close?
  • What did you love and admire about them?
  • What did he/she do that made you smile?
  • What will you miss most?

3. Use a theme

It is wise with any storytelling to use a theme so that the story flows. For example – a person’s love of animals can start with stories about the strays they found as a child and how that that led them to opening up their own veterinary practice. A theme shows the pathway the person took in their life to achieve their goals.

4. Organise your notes

Once you have all your stories, put them in chronological order so that the stories flow from when the person was young and across their life.

Writing the Eulogy

When doing any form of writing, break it into parts – introduction, body, conclusion.

  • The introduction is simply an opening statement which grabs listeners attention along with presenting what ideas you will be telling. For example “Today we are here to honour and remember our loved one, who has touched us all with her kindness and generosity to the community in which she lived.”
  • The body of the eulogy is where you share the stories that demonstrate the qualities named in the introduction.
  • The conclusion is simply ‘summing up’. This is where you summarise all the qualities listed in the introduction which have been emphasized through your stories. Also, reiterate what your loved one has meant to you.

Need help with writing?

If you still feel that you are unable to write the eulogy, or feel afraid of public speaking, staff at Sylvan’s are able to help you with this. Give us a call on (07) 3812 4000 and we are more than happy to help.