10 bits of advice if you’re asked to speak at a Catholic funeral

| October 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

FuneralTipsYou’re nervous to begin with because you don’t often speak in public and it’s an emotional time because you’ve lost a friend or loved one, yet you’ve been asked to say a few words at a funeral.

Help is here in the booklet, “To Say a Few Words: Guidelines for Those Offering Words of Remembrance at a Catholic Funeral.”

Here are 10 recommendations from author Michael A. Cymbala:

1. Ask people who were close to the departed if there’s anything they might appreciate hearing.

2. Find out when during the service will you be speaking. At the vigil? Before Mass? At Mass? After Mass?

3. Remember that your remarks should reflect the sacredness of the event and support the celebration’s focus on the Christian message: the good news of resurrection, faith in the promise of eternal life and care for all in need.

4. Think about the audience. A smaller gathering may be better served with a more informal style, while a larger one might be reason for a more formal approach.

5. Your words are meant to both honor the deceased and to comfort those left behind.

6. Stories about the departed’s life and activities should be placed within the context of the faith life, goodness and spirituality.

7. Offer thanks to God for the deceased’s gifts and for the gift of his or her life. Link the person to the good things God provides to all.

8. Be brief. A few well-chosen and properly delivered words can have a powerful impact.

9. Practice. Read your prepared remarks over and over both out loud and to yourself.

10. Use humor, but judiciously. Humor can be a blessing that lifts the human spirit and gives people cause to rejoice. Avoid silliness.


Read the book review on Catholic Hotdish


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Category: Funeral & Hospice Planning