Spoken funeral tributes offer comfort to those grieving the loss of loved ones. Although different from a eulogy, the person delivering the tribute should spend time crafting the message with the hopes of lending added support and comfort to mourners during this difficult time.
What to Say
It’s normal to feel a bit unsure about what to say during a funeral or memorial service. Even the best public speakers get nervous when it’s time to address a congregation at a funeral or memorial service, typically because emotions are running so high. It can be difficult to find the right words to reminisce about old times. Words of kindness and sympathy are always welcome. Tributes can also include light-hearted thoughts and stories about you relationship with the deceased. It is best to not be too humorous or too somber. A tribute should celebrate the deceased person’s life and explore his or her character and personality.
Don’t Overstep Your Boundaries
Your tribute should be appropriate for everyone in the room. If you are not a close family or friend, make sure your words are not easily offensive. It’s best not to talk about old frat house parties or wild adventures unless all funeral-goers will understand its significance. You may want to consider discussing the main points of your speech with a family member of the deceased if you are unsure about the appropriateness of the content in your tribute.
Delivering the Funeral Tribute
If you are not a public speaker, spend time practicing your speech in front of a mirror or friend. You can choose to use note cards to help you remember key points. Be mindful of time. Make sure you honor any time limits that the family has set. If you still are not comfortable speaking, you may want to pass it on to a friend or family to deliver on your behalf. Speak slowly and enunciate all of your words. It is OK to get emotional during your presentation too. It is a funeral, after all, and it is overwhelming at times. Your goal is to present a proper and memorable speech to those in attendance.
Speaking at a funeral is an honor. The family chose you not only because of your relationship to the deceased, but because of the type of person you are. Even if you get emotional and cry during the presentation, feel proud that you were able to write and deliver a tribute for the family during this hard time.