Most memorial services begin with a speech give by a priest, pastor or family member. The memorial speech or eulogy is "the main speech that praises and offers testimonial to the deceased's life," according to the Elegant Memories website.
The tone of the memorial service speech can be light or heavy based upon the circumstances of the death and the age of the deceased. For example, the death of an infant would not have the same tone as a person who is 65. In addition to the proper tone, you will need time and compassion to write a memorial service speech.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Talk to the family about the deceased. Take notes as they recount fond memories and funny situations revolving around their loved one. Ask the family about his education and work history.
Cut the obituary from the paper. It may include information the family forgot to mention to you and includes important dates such as when the deceased was born, married and died.
Select the style of your speech. The Eulogy Speech website says there are six main styles for eulogies: chronological, shared memories, tribute, legacy, main points and special themes. The focal points will slightly vary, but all of the speeches are based on the deceased's life.
Write an introduction to set the tone for the memorial service. In general you should thank all in attendance for showing up. Then jump right into the reason for the gathering, the deceased's life.
Continue by reminding mourners of different qualities of the deceased. This is where the memories the family told you are placed.
Include his personal history, the information from the obituary. Write the deceased's name, date and place of birth, parents' names, marriage date and place, name of spouse, siblings, children and other survivors and time, date, place and cause of death. Go on to write about his accomplishments in a chronological fashion.
Complete the speech by giving hope or comfort to those in attendance. If the family is religious, offer a prayer for their loved one in heaven. If the family prefers to avoid a religious tone.
Read the completed service speech out loud. Replace any words or phrases that sound "off" to you. Read it to another person for a second opinion. Make changes as needed.
Tips and warnings
- Consider the way the deceased died when writing a memorial speech.
- Time the speech to make sure it is not too long or too short.
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