After a loved one passes away, there are a myriad of decisions that need to be made in the midst of your grief.  One decision is deciding whom who want to speak at your loved one’s funeral or memorial service.

Who Should Perform the Eulogy

A eulogy is a speech or piece of writing that praises an individual who has just died. It is a speech written in tribute of the deceased.  It is a chance to remember what made the deceased so special and important in everyone’s lives and provides the opportunity to reminisce and laugh about happier times.

There are several people you can consider when trying to decide who should give the eulogy.

A Close Family Member

Many eulogies are given by a close family member.  Due to the close bond between the speaker and the deceased these are often the most heartfelt and memorable eulogies.

A Good Friend

A lifelong friend of the deceased is another good candidate to give the eulogy. They are able to provide a unique perspective on the life of the deceased, providing stories and memories from their childhood and special times spent together.

A Colleague

If the deceased’s passion in life was his or her job, then a colleague may be the best choice to give the eulogy.  A colleague would understand the passion of the deceased and be able to pass that passion on to others.

Clergy or Funeral Conductor

When close family and friends do not feel comfortable getting up and speaking in front of a group of people, especially in their time of grief, then choosing a member of the clergy or the funeral conductor to give the eulogy is perhaps the best choice.  They will typically sit down with close family and friends to learn more about the deceased and what made them special so that they are able to accurately portray the deceased to those in attendance.

Some Tips for Deciding Which One of the These Individuals Should Give the Eulogy

Make it a Family Decision

While the family member closest to the deceased is probably the best person to make the decision, in their time of grief that individual often has difficulty making any decisions.  The close family members should sit down together to discuss possible individuals and make a decision jointly as to who they feel would best be able to give a fitting tribute.

Careful Consideration

Choosing someone to give the eulogy for your loved one is not an easy decision. There are often several individuals to choose from and concerns about hurting someone’s feelings often come up. Do not make a rash decision.  Take the time to determine not only which individual had a close relationship, but also which individual is best suited to speaking and giving a tribute fitting for your loved one.

Choose More Than One Person

You do not have to choose a single individual to give the eulogy.  You may want to choose two people who had different relationships with the deceased, perhaps a family member and a friend, or a family member and a colleague, or…. The possible combinations are endless. Doing this provides a more rounded picture of the deceased and the impact he or she made in different areas of life.

Preparing the Eulogy

Ensure that the person you have chosen to give the eulogy has the time and information they need to write up a eulogy befitting the deceased.  Offer to sit down with them and provide any information they may require.  You might also offer to be the ‘practice’ audience so that he or she can run through the eulogy before the funeral.

Other Speaking Possibilities

Besides the eulogy, there are other opportunities to speak at a funeral.  You can choose individuals to say prayers, recite poems, tell stories, or give a reading from the deceased’s favorite book. You might also ask someone to sing a song that held a special meaning for the deceased.


Being chosen to give a eulogy is usually considered a great privilege.  However, others find the process emotionally overwhelming.  Be sure to consider this when making your choice in order to ensure that the person you choose is the best person who will be able to give the eulogy without completely falling apart in the process.