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Planning a Speech at a Funeral

By Budda Oliver

A funeral is a time of mourning for a deceased loved one but it is also more than that. If you have been asked, or have volunteered, to give a speech at the interment of a friend or a family member and are looking for guidance on how to express yourself, first ask yourself this question: what is a funeral? Here, you can repeat that a funeral is a time of mourning for a deceased love one.

For now, leave out the part about whether or not you loved the person. Hopefully you do, but if you do not, hold your lack of love in abeyance for the time being. Hopefully, in writing the speech you will find something in them that you love, if you did not see anything before. So, you start with: a funeral is a time of mourning for a departed love one. But what else is it? It's been said that it is more than that, and surely, you can think of other things that are a memorial service is. This will be how you find out what to write in your speech.

What else can a funeral be? It can also be a wake. A wake is an Irish-Catholic ceremony where people gather at the body of a departed love one to remember their life and tell stories about the person's life. What happens when you remember a person's life- is that more than mourning their death? In remembering a person's life, you will be mourning them because they are no longer alive, and you will be sad, but in remembering, even in sadness, you will be unable to forget the great happiness this person brought into the world. You may even laugh at some of the things they did as a human. Remembering a dead person and laughing, even while you are crying, can keep their memory alive, and keep their life a living thing.

What else is a funeral? For you, and for everyone else, a funeral is a possibility to remember the deceased person whom you are commemorating. Some people will be at the funeral only because they were invited and they are expected to attend. People are expected to attend memorial services even if they did not know or like the deceased very much, but if they are invited they are expected to go and they often do. In your speech, you have the possibility of explaining the departed's life as if you are talking to a room of strangers who may or may not like the deceased. You have the opportunity to tell the story of the deceased's life and what it meant to you, personally. A death is a personal thing for the deceased, and for everyone else.

You have now that a memorial service is a time of mourning, but it can also be a time of remembrance, laughter, and happiness. And that not everyone at the interment will know the deceased very well, but that you have the opportunity to introduce the deceased to them, and help them get to know each other. As a speaker at a funeral, you have the opportunity to show everyone what the departed meant to you. Take your opportunity seriously, and put all of your thought into your speech, and it will turn out very well.

Mr. Oliver is a marketing agent of Morrissett Funeral Home. The funeral home provides funeral services throughout the Richmond Virginia area. For more information on their Funeral Home and Services please visit their website.


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