Choosing the right words

Eulogies & readings

Giving a eulogy is a tribute to our loved ones and a chance to share our precious memories of them. It’s impossible to sum up a life in a few short minutes, but stories are a wonderful way to celebrate their spirit.

Writing a eulogy

A nice way to think of a eulogy is as a catalyst sparking others to recall their own special memories of your loved one.

Stories are always powerful, so talk about your feelings for your loved one and your experiences with them. A eulogy can also include important life milestones, and humour is always welcome, so don’t be afraid to share those irreverent tales.

Friends and family may feel unable to speak themselves yet have important things to say. It can be good to check if they want to offer a few words or a precious memory and include these in your eulogy too.

Below are some guidelines for ground to cover:

  • Birthplace and short details of early childhood.
  • Educational and sporting achievements.
  • Work and career.
  • Marriage and family life.
  • Hobbies, club memberships, charity involvement, and faith.
  • Preferences in music, literature, and the arts.
  • Characteristic words and sayings.
  • Personal qualities illustrated with stories.

A eulogy can be as long or as short as you wish, however 10 minutes (1,500 words or a couple of typed A4 pages) is a good appropriate length.

Choosing readings

Funeral readings can be texts that were important to your loved one or writings from them. Readings and poems can also help acknowledge the feelings of grief we have at the loss of a loved one and bring comfort to those in attendance.

We’ve curated a short selection of non-religious funeral readings that people find meaningful and moving.

We're here for you

If you need our help following the death of a loved one contact us any time of the day or night.

Christchurch (03) 379 9920
North Canterbury (03) 327 7499

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