At most funerals, friends and family can deliver a eulogy or speech about the deceased. But delivering a eulogy can feel like both a privilege and a stressful experience. To make the situation more manageable, it helps to understand how to choose people to deliver eulogies at a funeral.
Who can deliver a eulogy?
Anyone can deliver a eulogy, but family, friends, priests, and celebrants are most common. The experience of saying a eulogy can be deeply emotional, so it’s important that you ask the people you want to speak if they are comfortable with the task.
For most people, speaking in front of the deceased’s closest family and friends can feel overwhelming and stressful. You may also risk leaving family or friends out who feel they should speak at the deceased’s funeral.
How many people can deliver a eulogy?
There is no specific number of how many people can deliver a eulogy. However, religious funeral traditions may affect the number of people you choose. A good rule of thumb is to select the number of people based on how long you want the service to last.
You can also select topics for the eulogies and then assign each subject to the right person. For example, if you want to talk about their success in sports, you might give the topic to their coach or a teammate.
Eulogies at religious funerals
Usually, the person officiating the service, such as a priest or member of the clergy, delivers the eulogy at a religious funeral. Religious eulogies focus on the role of god and faith in the deceased’s life. They also cover the person's contributions to their religious community.
If you choose to have a religious funeral, you might chat with your priest to plan and discuss your funeral and eulogy. Some religions may also prohibit eulogies during the funeral service and only allow opportunities to speak during the wake or visitation.
Common eulogy topics
The focus of a eulogy should always be on the deceased and their life. Typically, the person delivering the eulogy decides what to write. But in some cases, the family or person planning the funeral will provide a topic. Here are some common eulogy topics:
- Memories or stories that reflect the deceased’s nature
- Personal and professional achievements
- Their impact as a parent, sibling, child or friend
- Their contributions to their community
If you choose to assign topics, ask the person if they’re comfortable talking about that topic. It can help to let them know why you’ve chosen them for that topic. Then, people will feel more prepared when it’s time to deliver the eulogy.
Other opportunities to speak at a funeral
Outside of eulogies, there are other opportunities to speak at a funeral, including prayers, poems and anecdotal stories or memories. If you want any specific readings at your funeral, let your loved ones know or include the wish in your Will.
When planning a funeral, you may need to choose people to deliver eulogies. You can either let them choose what they want to say or assign them a specific topic. Whatever you decide, ask them if they’re comfortable with the task beforehand.
If there are specific things that you know you would absolutely want or not want at your funeral, make sure to include them in your Will. You can set up your Will online in less than 15 minutes and easily make changes after major life events.