Understanding funeral tributes: How to start and what to say

Published: 26/2/2024
Understanding funeral tributes: How to start and what to say
Understanding funeral tributes: How to start and what to say

A meaningful way to honour your lost loved one is by placing a tribute at the funeral. In this article, we'll discuss what a tribute is, differentiate it from a eulogy and provide an example of a tribute. We hope to help you gain a better understanding of how to place a tribute at a funeral to pay your respects in a heartfelt manner.

What is a tribute in a funeral?

A tribute, in the context of a funeral, is a sincere and thoughtful way to express your love, admiration and respect for the deceased. It is a gesture that serves as a token of remembrance and is often displayed or read aloud during the funeral service. A tribute can take various forms, such as a speech, a written message, a video montage or a creative display. The purpose of a tribute is to celebrate the life of the departed and share the impact they had on your life.

The difference between tribute and eulogy

While tributes and eulogies share a common purpose in commemorating the deceased, they differ in their style and content.  

Eulogy: a eulogy is a formal speech or presentation that is typically delivered by a close friend, family member or a chosen speaker. It focuses on recounting the life story of the departed, highlighting their achievements, values and the impact they had on the people around them. Eulogies often follow a structured format and are delivered in a more formal tone.  

Tribute: a tribute on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses a wide range of personal expressions of love and remembrance. While a eulogy is a formal speech, a tribute can be a more informal and a personal message. It can be a letter, a poem, a piece of artwork or even a simple story that reflects the relationship you shared with the deceased. A tribute allows you to convey your emotions and memories in a unique and personal way.  

RELATED ARTICLE: Example of a tribute letter: Writing a meaningful farewell for a loved one's funeral

Placing a tribute

Placing a tribute at a funeral is a heartfelt gesture that can provide solace to both you and the grieving family. Here are some steps to help you place a tribute at a funeral:

Choose your form of tribute

The first step is to decide how you want to express your tribute. Consider what form of tribute would best capture your feelings and memories of the departed. It could be a written message, a spoken word, a video montage or a creative display.

Prepare your thoughts

Before you place your tribute, take some time to reflect on your relationship with the deceased. Think about the moments you shared, the qualities you admire and the impact they had on your life. Write down these thoughts and memories to help you organise your tribute.

Keep it personal and sincere

Your tribute should come from the heart and be a genuine reflection of your feelings. Be sincere in your words and share personal anecdotes and stories that convey your connection to the departed. It's not about eloquence; it's about authenticity.

Understanding funeral tributes: How to start and what to say
Understanding funeral tributes: How to start and what to say

Respect the tone of the funeral

Consider the overall tone and atmosphere of the funeral when crafting your tribute. While it's important to be personal and sincere, ensure that your words are respectful and in keeping with the solemnity of the occasion.

Practice your delivery

If you plan to speak or read your tribute during the service, practice your delivery beforehand. This will help you feel more confident and composed when the time comes.  

RELATED ARTICLE: Ways to pay tribute to a loved one

Example of a tribute

To illustrate what a tribute might look like, here's an example of a written tribute:  

My dearest (name of the deceased),

t's hard to put into words the impact you've had on my life. Your kindness and unwavering support were a guiding light in my darkest days. I'll never forget the time you taught me how to ride a bike, your warm laughter or your incredible apple pie. Your ability to find joy in the little things has left a lasting impression on me. I am forever grateful for the moments we shared and the love you bestowed upon us. You may be gone, but your spirit lives on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know you.

With love and eternal gratitude, (Your name)

Remember, your tribute should be a reflection of your unique relationship with the deceased, capturing the essence of your connection.    

Placing a tribute at a funeral is a beautiful and meaningful way to pay your respects and celebrate the life of the departed. It allows you to express your love, admiration, and gratitude in a personal and heartfelt manner. While tributes and eulogies serve similar purposes, tributes are more flexible and personal, giving you the opportunity to share your memories and emotions in your own way.  

In your journey of grief and remembrance, take comfort in knowing that your tribute will be a lasting memory of the love and respect you hold for the departed. Placing a tribute is a small act that carries immense significance, providing solace and healing to those who are left behind.  

As you prepare to place your tribute, may your words and memories serve as a comforting reminder of the cherished moments you shared with your loved one.

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