Tribute or eulogy

Unless it is not permitted within a particular faith or cultural tradition, a central feature of the funeral ceremony is the tribute or eulogy for the person who has died. This may be delivered by the minister or celebrant, one member of the family or a close friend or may comprise several short pieces by various people.

It is very helpful to whoever delivers the tribute to ask family members and friends to note down particular aspects of the character of the deceased which they would want highlighted or particular anecdotes. This helps the person delivering the tribute, especially if they did not know the deceased personally, to create a realistic portrait of him or her.

If family or friends deliver the eulogy it is a good idea for them to have written notes to be able to pass to someone else such as the minister in case the person becomes too distressed to speak in public during the ceremony.

Personal contributions are often very moving and are emotionally demanding, but can be very rewarding for the people delivering them. Gentle humour is often included which helps with the sense of celebration of and gratitude for the life of the person being remembered.

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