Planning the eulogy

As part of most funeral ceremonies, someone (a family member, the priest, Minister or Celebrant), tells an abbreviated life story of the person who has died, this is called ‘The Eulogy’ from the Greek words “to speak well of.”

Often it is difficult to know what to include and what to leave out. Generally speaking, the main eulogy should include a brief history and some personal characteristics.

Some families use a video presentation in some form as part of the eulogy. Sometimes a second eulogy is brought from a grandchild, lifetime friend, or work associate. Some people choose to present this as a letter read to their deceased loved one.

Below is a guide for your use in gathering and arranging the details for a eulogy.

  • Brief history
  • Name
  • Nickname
  • Place of birth
  • Date of Birth
  • Father’s Names
  • Mother’s Name (Maiden Name)
  • Place in family (eldest, youngest etc.)
  • Siblings
  • Family situation in childhood, youth
  • Education history, school/further education
  • Work history
  • Marriage at age/to whom/where
  • Children born
  • Circumstances of death
  • Characteristics
  • Personality
  • Character
  • Beliefs/Philosophies
  • Hobbies, Interests
  • Personal Memories (Grandma’s cooking, Grandpa’s boat etc.)
  • Famous sayings, habits
  • Closing or summary sentence and any special music to be played or sung

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