How to Choose Speakers for the Funeral

A eulogy is a kind of speech or writing that aims to highly praise someone who just passed away. At the memorial service of your deceased loved one, people who feel a close affinity for the departed can deliver a eulogy reflecting on your beloved’s life. 

The opportunity to give a eulogy is frequently seen as a great privilege for the chosen speaker. However, for some who are tasked to speak in front of a crow of mourners, it can also be emotionally overwhelming to do so. After all, talking about the deceased can bring an onslaught of bittersweet memories that make people cry. 

If you’re planning a memorial service, one of the primary considerations in your mind apart from preparing the casket or funeral flowers is the eulogy speaker. It’s not easy to choose people to deliver a eulogy. After all, it’s a big responsibility to sum up a person’s life in a few precious minutes. If you need help finding this kindred spirit, check out how you can effectively choose speakers for the funeral. 

Who Can Give This Speech?

The people who can deliver a eulogy could be your family members, friends, the clergy, and/or the funeral conductors. For some religious funerals following a flexible program, people other than the clergy are permitted to deliver a eulogy. However, for conservative religious funerals, only the clergy is commonly given the opportunity to speak.

Some people may find writing and giving a eulogy a great experience. It’s one way to reminisce and relive happy memories with the deceased. Putting thoughts on paper can be cathartic. However, some find writing and giving a eulogy challenging and difficult because it can be an intensely emotional experience. 

To help you out, make a list of the people you are considering as speakers at the funeral. Find time to discuss the details with them. Make sure they are comfortable with this responsibility. Never pressure anyone to do the eulogy. Instead, be prepared for those who will decline and have ready alternatives in case you get a no.

What Topics Should a Eulogy Cover?

The eulogy should be all about the deceased’s life. It aims to show the true nature and character of the dead through the memories and stories the speakers share. Eulogy speeches are poignant because they often show different facets of the dead. Sometimes, it is up to the speaker to decide the content and flow, but there are also instances where the speakers will be assigned a specific topic. 

Keep in mind that if you wish to choose a topic for your speakers, you have to inform and discuss the details with them. Be open in answering their questions and concerns. Coming together will help them make proper preparations. So when the time comes to deliver the eulogy, they can be ready to face the crowd and speak confidently. 

How Many People Can Deliver a Eulogy?

If you are not strict with religious customs, the number of people who can speak at the funeral services will all be up to you to decide. When you’re deciding how many speakers to have at the service, think about the following:

  • How long the memorial service will be
  • Are there other services after the eulogy
  • What are the chosen topics you want to be covered
  • Does the clergy have any specific requirements for the service

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the number of eulogy speakers. In fact, if you just choose one person to give a eulogy, that’s also okay. 

Are There Any Religious Considerations in Doing This?

If the deceased and the family are religious, the primary person who will be speaking is usually the clergy member officiating the service. Often, it will focus on the family’s faith in God and the deceased’s relationship with Him. If you are close to your religious leader, it might be good for you to meet him or her to discuss some issues you want to address or avoid in the eulogy. 

If you do not have a connection with any religious leader but want to hold a religious funeral for your deceased family member, you can make a request. It would help to meet beforehand so that he or she will know you and speak truthfully and comfortably about the deceased at the memorial service. 

Notably, if your plan to hold a religious funeral will prohibit some friends or family from delivering a eulogy, you can plan the speeches ahead. You can give your friends or family time to speak before or after the religious service. In a religious memorial service, a wake, visitation, or viewing takes place before the funeral service, while the reception is what usually takes place after the burial service.

Are There Other Opportunities to Speak or Participate in a Funeral Service?

There are many other opportunities for people who want to speak to honor the deceased. Aside from formal eulogies, reciting prayers, reading poems or funeral quotes, singing a song, and sharing stories about the deceased’s life is acceptable during a memorial service. 

If you wish for a specific person to do something in the memorial service, ask them ahead of time if they will be comfortable with the task. You can also inform your family about these plans so everyone is on board. Having speakers who are prepared can make the services more meaningful and memorable for the family and all the other guests who come to mourn. With careful preparation, you can have a seamless service that honors the memory of your departed loved one.