What Do You Say at a Memorial Service?

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If you were close to the deceased, it is wise to deliver a short and solid eulogy at his or her memorial service. Speak on positive attributes of the deceased and share a funny or touching story that is appropriate for the crowd.

At a memorial service, you have the option to abstain from speaking if you did not know the deceased at all or did not know them well. If that is the case, let their friends and loved ones speak.

If you do say something, keep it short and positive, talking about the strengths and memorable facets of the deceased person’s personality. Share humorous or inspirational stories that directly involve you and the deceased, and do not repeat a story someone else has already told. Prepare yourself with a few options.

Do not curse, talk about illegal activities or use profane names or vulgarity. This is often a family event, so be respectful and concise. Practice what you plan to say in the mirror ahead of time so that you feel more comfortable. If you become nervous when speaking, look at the crowd’s eyebrows, not their eyes.