Short eulogy and bereavement poems can comfort the grieving and inspire the living at any funeral service. Finding just the right words to say at such an occasion expresses the thoughts found in the book of Proverbs which says “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” But finding the perfect “fitting words” is easier said than done.
During my 24 year tenure as a minister I have presided in over a hundred funeral services. During that time I have heard some really good comments made by friends and family members of departed loved ones and I’ve heard some really dumb comments. It’s obvious that some people really know how to find the right things to say and they know how to present themselves well. However, there are far more people who can’t come up with fitting words and don’t have a clue as to how to speak well at the funeral service. Short funeral poems can be the answer for those called upon to share at these difficult events. Here are some critical points to keep in mind.
When sharing a short bereavement poem or comment keep it pointed.
When I say “pointed” I mean compact, pithy or to the point. If you are needing more clarification on the meaning of these words here it is – keep it short. Funeral services are normally no longer than one hour in length. People are not comfortable with marathon memorial and bereavement services. The sermon will take 20 minutes, the music might take 15 minutes, Scripture readings might take 10 minutes. If you have been called upon to share a poem or reading it is simply rude to get behind the podium and ramble aimlessly. This is a time for preparation and poise. Keep it pointed.
When sharing a short eulogy or funeral poem keep it personal.
If you are asked to share a poem or reading make sure it relates in some way to the life and personality of the deceased. It might be a good time to share a favorite reading or song lyrics of the departed loved one or share a reading about a character trait or one of their favorite subjects or hobby. Use your imagination and think about the life of the person and find just the right words that will truly personalize this occasion. Keep it personal.
When reciting a funeral eulogy poem keep it poignant.
A poignant poem is a passionate or moving poem or reading. Funerals are somber occasions and death is a very serious subject. I have no objection to a little humor but many memorial services resemble a comedy club rather than a time of remembrance. Too much laughter and jest at such a solemn occasion is simply unseemly. If you have been called upon to speak at a funeral you have been given a huge responsibility to help people grieve and reflect. It is a time for some contemplation about life and loss. A little bitterness, a little sadness is appropriate at such a time. The Scriptures call death the “last enemy” there is nothing funny or light hearted about this subject. Keep it poignant. Short funeral, eulogy and bereavement poems can truly comfort and inspire during times of loss.