The Eulogy Template

Graveside Ceremony

This downloadable eulogy template, is easy to follow with lots of options to  help you find the right words to say and in the correct order. The template also has easy solutions if you are struggling for content.  Very few people can write a successful eulogy without the help of a template.  

The definition of an eulogy is a speech to praise, honor, commemorate the life of a deceased person.

The choice of the “eulogist” or person who delivers the eulogy is usually made by the immediate family.

Or it may be a clergy, either the main celebrant or another invited to assist at the service, or a friend of the deceased.  

It can be only one person, however it does not have to be restricted to just one person; several people may pay tribute if so desired;

  • One person might discuss the deceased's early family years,  
  • another person might be a business acquaintance who speaks to the deceased's career.  
  • Another might be a best friend who speaks to their character.   
  • And lastly a son, daughter, or grandchild might address the love and life lessons they received from the deceased.   

If there are several speakers be strict with their time allotment.  Five minutes maximum each.

Eulogy Template Steps and Tips

The task of writing a eulogy can seem over-whelming to many. By following these steps and tips, you will find it much easier.  You may not use everything that is listed in the template.  If you are struggling to find content for your eulogy, there are various things you can pull from, such as quotes, poems and prayers.

THE TEMPLATE:

THE OPENING:

  • Start with a funeral quote or an interesting tidbit about the deceased.  
  • Example of a quote: The philosopher Seneca wrote; “As in a tale, so is life: Not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”  
  • Or “(Name of the Deceased) had no acquaintances, only conversations, hundreds of them.  And once a conversation had been engaged, a friendship was born.”

I think all of us here today, agree that (name of the deceased) lived by these rules.

THE EARLY YEARS

  • To help you compose, write out in chronological order: where and when (name of the deceased) was born, names of parents and siblings
  • education; where they went to school, graduated with name of degree or training, what (name of deceased) excelled in at school. Example; sports, academics. 

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

  • marriage and children; name of spouse, where they met, when they married, names of children, significant wedding anniversary - number of years

CAREER 

  • career; worked in type of job, company name, work achievements
  • special accomplishments and achievements; charitable work, service, what they were known for.  eg. local theater, quilting, 
  • significant life events
  • special beliefs

MEMORIES

  • memories; tell two or three short stories of memories about the deceased, and/or list four or five things that family members or friends remember most about (the deceased). Examples: camping at the Lake, trips together to ______, how the deceased loved romantic movies

ENDING

  • Wrap Up; (Name of Deceased) was  (adjectives describing their character, their value to the world, how they will be remembered.  
  • Another quote;  Example; "Lives are like rivers: eventually they go where they must, not where we want them to."
  • "In closing, I would like to share this poem (or prayer)with you:
  • Ending:  "Thank you (name of the deceased) for being part of our lives.  We cherish you and are going to miss you.

 

Are you stuck on some of these details ?  Struggling to think of stories to tell?  Consider calling a family meeting, to recount the  stories that made this person special and the significance of their life.

This in itself is a very healing process, as people relate stories and reminisce .  Often there are tears and laughter.

Don't try to use all of these facts and details. The purpose of an eulogy template is not to cover every aspect of the person's life in your speech. However, it is much easier to write a speech when you have a variety of material to select from.  

Writing a eulogy becomes very difficult when you are staring at a blank sheet of paper.  

Do try to acknowledge in the eulogy the names of  those that were closest to the person who died as well as important achievements in the person's life.  

Remember that this speech is not about you.  It is about the deceased.  Sometimes speakers make the mistake of talking more about themselves than the person everyone is here to honor and celebrate.  The best eulogies often are those that focus on your personal thoughts and memories of the deceased.

You may not use everything that is listed in the template.  The intent is to help you create your speech with various things you can pull from, such as quotes, poems and prayers.

Write a draft.

Once you've brainstormed and gathered memories sit down and write out your first draft from start to finish.  

When Winston Churchill was asked about the length of a good speech, his reply was; "A good speech should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."

After you've written it, leave it for a day.   Then review and polish.  

Find adjectives that really capture the person's essence.  Adding Eulogy quotes is a very  helpful way for you to describe a person's character.

Other options are to include a favorite poem of the deceased, or a prayer.

Tips on Your Presentation

This touching letter from a father to a son, who is about to give an eulogy to his grandfather will provide you  tips in overcoming any fears in presenting an eulogy. 

Dear Sam;

This won't be easy Sam. It will create emotions that may seem overwhelming but they are worthy emotions. They will be felt by all those who you are reading/speaking to but these emotions will be most intense for you.

Your Grandpa would be proud of you.

Here are a few tips from your old man:

Speak slowly. Do not rush. Take your time.

Speak clearly. Practice reading aloud. The folks will want to hear you.

If your emotions well up…wait. It’s okay, just wait and then move on.

Read like you are talking to a friend.

Be yourself. Be Sam.

It may not be the most difficult speech you ever deliver, but it will be one of the most rewarding experiences.

No matter what happens, it will be okay.

If you need to cry in the middle of reading, everyone will understand. Take a moment to get it together as best as you can, then continue.

Don't be embarrassed.

Remember, giving a eulogy is speaking from your heart and that people will appreciate, admire and remember. They need you to do this.

Love Dad


DO: Jump right into your speech.

DON'T: Don't start with 'we are gathered here today to honor the life of...' Everyone knows why they are there.

DO: Study some of the eulogies on this site for ideas. 

Senator Edward Kennedy's for his nephew, John Kennedy,Jr. is a beautiful example. It contains all the right elements; humor, poetry, and stories.

DO: Recognize the family members who are grieving by name.  Note how Senator Kennedy does so.  The family of the deceased appreciate being recognized for the tremendous loss they are experiencing.

DON'T: Don't say things about the deceased that aren't so.  People attending will know.

DO: Giving an eulogy can be a difficult speech to give. Remember your audience will understand, and be sympathetic and supportive if you need to pause for composure.

DON'T: If you are having trouble trying to think of something to say, don't try to do it alone. Ask friends and family members to share with you their memories or stories. They will be thrilled to hear them included in your speech. Everyone loves to hear stories. 

DO: If you select a poem or passage be sure to practice reading it aloud to make sure you are comfortable with it.   If a child is to do a reading, rehearse with them to ensure they read it slowly, so that people can grasp the words.

DO: Refrain from foul or off-color language. Now is not the time to reminisce about drinking escapes - particularly if the service is in a church.

DON'T: Don't ad lib. There is nothing wrong with reading your speech. People expect it.

Do try to include humor in the form of an amusing story about the deceased.   Believe it or not, laughter is incredibly healing for the soul, and entirely appropriate at this time.

Ideally your speech should be no more than 5 minutes long.

We Can Help You With The Eulogy And Make You A Hero

Still feel like you are sinking in quicksand at the thought of writing an eulogy and giving the speech while everyone at the service stares at you?

A great eulogy is often the most remembered and significant element of the service.

I have seen many people upset with themselves for years after the service, because they just couldn't verbalize the sentiments they had for their loved one.  

If you want to go above and beyond,  we can write a custom poem for you.

Our in house poet, Judith, will create a poem about your loved one, which makes a beautiful addition to the eulogy. 

Her poetry can bring tears to the audience, as well as laughter.  A custom personalized poem really adds the wow factor to your speech.

She has written poems for eulogists about grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews. 

She has written suitable poems for situations that people struggle to find the right words to express their feelings.  It might be an estranged loved one, or a drug overdose death, as well as a suicide. 

You will find many people request a copy of the poem, which Judith provides to you in an attractive pdf format, as well as in a Word document.

We need 3 to 5 days to create your custom personalized poem.

Read Below Some of our Comments from People Who Have Purchased A Poem:

"Judith did an amazing job....my initial comment when I received the draft was WOW....you nailed it...really there was nothing to be changed....when I read the initial draft it brought tears to my eyes as it captured everything I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. The experience with Judith has been 2nd to none....I couldn’t be happier with the poem she has written."


"Judith, you work miracles with words. Thank you so much. It's really means so much to have a poem that is original and thoughtful. I'm blessed to have came across your website. I live in the  Washington DC area where the Pope is visiting and that has me feeling a bit spiritual. I feel God's hand in this planning of the Remembrance Day for my Mother. You certainly have eased my grieving. Thank you again." Renee 

Just Click Here to Learn More About Ordering Your Custom Poem for the Eulogy


When you present the right eulogy - one that brings out the positive and great memories of the your loved one - you can completely transform the mood the funeral. This is the truth behind great speeches - by presenting with heart. 

It can be a tough task when writing the eulogy for someone who has run into trouble with the law or drugs or alcohol. Try to recall better days. A Sample Eulogy for a life gone wrong, or a death by suicide. 


Eulogies to a father 

An eulogy to a brother

Eulogy Quotes

Click Here for Eulogies Made Easy 

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