Finding the appropriate expressions to make during a funeral service is not always an easy task. On the other hand, you could find that it is helpful to think about the person who has passed away and how you feel about them when you think about them.
Even people who are rarely at a loss for words may find that they are unable to find the right words to say when they are attending a funeral for a loved one. They are at a loss for words, and on top of that, they are petrified of the things that they should not say to those who are in mourning because they do not know what to say.
It is not always easy to find the right words to comfort someone who has suffered a loss, particularly if you had a particularly close relationship with the person who has passed away, don't know the mourners all that well, or didn't even know the person who has passed away at all. Let Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals help you select the type of funeral service that best fits your needs.
Following are some of the best things to say at a funeral, depending upon your relationship with the deceased and survivors.
What to Say to Someone Before a Funeral
It is extremely important, when having a conversation with a person who is grieving the loss of a loved one following the passing of a loved one, to acknowledge the loss that has taken place.
It might make us feel uncomfortable to bring it up before the funeral, but it is important to keep in mind that in doing so, you are in no way bringing up their loss in any way.
You are providing them with the option to talk about their feelings with you in an open and forthright manner if that is something that they would like to do.
You could choose to send a card, which provides you with the opportunity to say a few carefully chosen words. However, a quick phone call or visit in person is also likely to be very well received. You have that option.
Things to Say at a Funeral Service
If you are going to be present at the funeral service that you are going to attend, it is appropriate for you to offer your condolences to the family of the deceased.
Even if you don't know the person all that well, just saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is enough to show your condolences. On the other hand, it is almost always more meaningful if you can say something about the person who has passed away. Some examples include the following:
"I'm so sorry that you've lost your Dad (his name), he was a wonderful man, and I know that we'll miss him very much," said the speaker. "My deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father (his name)"
When someone speaks a few words that are both personal and remember the deceased person with respect while also expressing how much they meant to them, it is customarily well received by the audience.
The statements and condolences that follow are some examples of appropriate things to say to members of the family of the deceased:
- It is essential that you express your love to both the family of the deceased person and the deceased person themselves, especially if you were a very close friend of the deceased person or a member of the deceased person's extended family. "My feelings towards Uncle Joe were very warm and fuzzy. He exemplified what it means to be a gentleman in every way." "All I want you to know is that I adore you," is what I really want to say.
- If you were a close friend of the person who passed away, you could tell the family of the deceased person something along the lines of, "He or she was just like a brother or sister to me." This would be an appropriate thing to say. It goes without saying that you should take care not to hurt the feelings of the surviving siblings of the person who passed away. This is especially important if the sibling was close to the deceased person.
- The sentiment that "He/she will be greatly missed" conveys how highly you thought of the person who has passed away after hearing the news of their passing. It is enjoyable for members of a family to hear stories about the ways in which the accomplishments of their ancestors have influenced the lives of people in other parts of the world. As a follow-up to this statement, you could continue by telling a story about a happy time spent with the person who has passed away. This would be an appropriate way to continue.
- If you are one of the people who is having a difficult time dealing with the situation, it may be helpful to bring a photo of the deceased person with you, especially if you have the ability to do so. Then you can share with the people who survived the story that lies behind the photograph, while also providing them with the photograph itself (or a copy of it).
- Being honest is the best way to protect oneself from danger. The only thing that came to mind when I tried to come up with something to say was, "I'm at a complete loss for words, but I want you to know how sorry I am."
- Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to make the other person laugh, or you might not be able to. Share with everyone a funny story or an experience that they will all look back on with fondness, and everyone will have a good laugh.
- There are some situations in which putting one's attention solely on the feelings of the bereaved is an impossible task. When dealing with a situation such as this one, it is best to put one's attention on the positive qualities of the person who has passed away. "She was blessed with a singing voice that was nothing short of breathtaking." "He was such a kind and considerate member of the human race."
- Make a gesture of goodwill by offering assistance, but at the same time, make sure the bereaved family has the privacy they require at this time. "When you feel ready to discuss it, I'll be here for you and ready to listen. Simply give me a call if there is anything else you require."
- Discuss the deceased individual in light of the connection you had with them and the thoughts that come to mind when you think about them. You might say something along the lines of, "He was a wonderful mentor to me at work," or "She was there for me when I was going through my divorce," as examples. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funeral Directors are here to help make the funeral process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.
- If you have a close friend who is going through a challenging time, show that friend your compassion and sympathy. A statement that goes something like "When you're in pain, I'm in pain" would be appropriate to make in this situation.
- When speaking to someone who has experienced a loss, it is always appropriate to express sympathy by saying something along the lines of "I'm so sorry for your loss."
Things You Should Not Say at a Funeral
On the other hand, there are some topics that must under no circumstances be discussed during a funeral service. Phrases that are considered to be cliches, such as "well, s/he had a good life" or "they're in a better place now," should be avoided as much as is humanly possible.
Instead of trying to minimise or make light of the bereaved person's loss in any way, we would prefer to make an effort to acknowledge their grief in some way.
It is possible, but not guaranteed, that the person who has passed away lived a long, happy, and significant life. However, this cannot be said for certain. Nevertheless, the length of the person's life could never have been sufficient, and the impact of the grief on those who are left behind cannot and should not be minimised. The length of the person's life could never have been long enough. One illustration of this would be a grieving husband whose wife of fifty years had recently passed away. He has recently become a widower.
Even if you have been through something that is somewhat comparable to the loss that the other person is going through, it is imperative that you refrain from saying things such as "I know how you feel." It is important to avoid saying things like this.
You, sadly, do not, and this is the unfortunate truth. You can only know how you felt when you were experiencing a loss; you should not assume that other people feel the same way as you do. Only you can know how you felt.
You are shifting the focus of attention away from their feelings and onto your own feelings when you say things to the effect of "I know how you feel." When you do this, you are shifting the focus of attention away from their feelings and onto your own feelings.
It is possible that there will come a time when you will be able to offer helpful hints about how you felt when someone you cared about died and what helped you, but a funeral is almost never the appropriate time to have these conversations. It is possible that there will come a time when you will be able to offer helpful hints about how you felt when someone you cared about died and what helped you.
At a wake or a funeral, you should under no circumstances say anything negative or critical about the person who has passed away. At this juncture, you should refrain from engaging in idle chatter, making jokes, or drawing attention to yourself in any other way.
Now is the time to activate any speech filters that you might have available to you. It is not necessary for you to make the grieving process any more difficult for the family by coming to the funeral or the visitation; they are already going through a trying time.
You also do not want to minimise the significance of the person's passing away, as that would not be appropriate.
Some people act in this manner in the erroneous belief that it will make it easier for those who have suffered a loss to deal with the circumstances surrounding the loss; however, this is not the case. As a direct consequence of doing so, you will come across to other people as insensitive and uncaring. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is here to assist you in making each funeral and cremation services a unique and moving memorial to your loved one.
Some examples of things that should not be said are provided below:
- He is currently in a better position than he was before.
- Without him, you'll be in a much stronger position to succeed.
- I am able to empathise with how you are presently feeling. After the passing of my great-uncle a few years ago, we went through a difficult period for a while.
- You'll feel better soon.
- Now that he is no longer an issue in your life, you are free to move on with the rest of your life as though nothing ever happened. Is it not about time that we started having some fun and laughing at this point? (as you recover from a protracted period of illness) Have you given any thought to getting married once more? (to the widow) At least he was able to pass away peacefully in his sleep and didn't have to go through a lot of pain and anguish before he died.
- You'll get over it soon.
- I beg you, please do not cry.
- Being courageous is something that would serve you well in this circumstance.
- God will never put you in a circumstance that you are unable to manage on your own.
- At least you were successful in keeping him for a short period of time.
What to Say to Someone After a Funeral
The kind words of comfort that were spoken by those who attended a funeral service are frequently the things that the family remembers for a very long time after the service has taken place.
After the death of a loved one, the days and weeks that immediately follow the burial or memorial service are frequently some of the most trying for surviving members of the family.
This could be as little as a few days or as much as an entire year. It could even be longer than that. They will initially need to adjust to the idea that the person will no longer be in the picture, but eventually they will come to terms with it.
Then, after that person has left their lives, they are forced to continue to celebrate holidays, as well as deal with birthdays and anniversaries, which they previously celebrated together with the person who is no longer in their lives.
Sometimes, we find ourselves completely at a loss for words and unable to bring ourselves to say something personal because we are afraid that the bereaved person will find it upsetting or that we will cry in front of them. Other times, we find that we are unable to bring ourselves to say something personal because we are afraid that the bereaved person will find it upsetting or that we
When something like this happens, you might find it helpful to say something along the lines of, "I don't know what to say or the best way to help you, but I wish I did." In other words, you could say something like, "I wish I knew what to say or the best way to help you."
It is reassuring to the person who has lost someone that you care about them and will be there for them when they need you and it is often an honest way of telling people how we feel.
There's a chance that the age-old maxim "do unto others" does not apply to the appropriate things for people to say at funerals.
Every individual reacts to adversity in a manner that is distinctive to them. You may believe that other people would enjoy hearing detailed stories about the deceased person; however, this may be too painful for some people to hear. It is possible that you believe that other people would enjoy hearing detailed stories about the deceased person.
Keep an eye out for hints in the way that they move their body.
You will be able to provide consolation to other people if, in the future, you say and do the following:
- Call the individual some time after the funeral is over and extend an invitation for them to drop by for a cup of coffee at your place.
- Bring a tree or flowering plant that can be planted in the yard as a memorial to the person who has passed away. This can be done in honour of the person who has passed away.
- Send them a note with the phrase "thinking of you" on it.
- You shouldn't force the other person to spend the holiday by themselves if they don't want to; instead, extend an invitation to celebrate the occasion with you instead.
- Always keep in mind that going through the stages of grief is a perfectly natural response to the death of a loved one. Don't act as if it's nothing or treat it like it is.
- Give the person some space to process the feelings they are experiencing.
Some people are too polite to voice their disagreements, even when they are in the midst of their own personal tragedy.
It is essential to keep an eye on how the bereaved respond to the things that you are saying to them. If you notice that they are becoming defensive, it is best to keep your comments to a minimum and give them some time and space to deal with their loss on their own.
When having a conversation with someone, you should never forget to give that person your undivided attention. If they tell you that "now is not the time" or "I don't want to hear about that now," then you should respect their wishes and refrain from bringing up the subject.
If you don't have the gift of coming up with comments on the spot that are always relevant, you should familiarise yourself with a few expressions before you go so that you don't end up saying something that you shouldn't have said. If you don't have the gift of coming up with comments on the spot that are always relevant, you should familiarise yourself with a few expressions before you go. The following are some suggestions for phrases that might be useful. Make the necessary adjustments so that they are in line with the nature of the situation at hand. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.
How to Help Someone Grieving
Another common phrase that can be heard at funerals is "rest in peace." "Please get in touch with me if there is anything that I can do to assist you. Just let me know what it is that you require, whatever it may be."
Even though the person who has suffered a loss usually has good intentions when they say this, it places the burden of asking for assistance on the person who has recently suffered a loss. If you truly want to lend a helping hand, you should be specific in the offer of assistance that you make.
Naturally, the particulars of your assistance will be shaped based on the preferences of the person who you are assisting.
The person who has suffered a loss may find comfort in receiving assistance with day-to-day tasks that are typically their responsibility, such as going grocery shopping, preparing meals, and looking after their children.
You might want to consider making an offer to help them with the paperwork because there is typically a large amount of paperwork to go through after a death, and because this can make people feel overwhelmed.
Providing them with assistance of this kind is a good way to demonstrate that you care about them and are there for them by showing that you are there for them.
It's true that actions speak much louder than words most of the time. After the funeral is over, those who are hurting may require assistance in both the practical and emotional realms for a significant amount of time afterwards, and they will be grateful for any assistance provided in either of these areas.
How Long to Talk With Family Members
When deciding how much time you should spend chatting with each member of the family, the most important factor to consider is how well you know each individual member of the family.
It is possible that you will be able to remain with them for a longer period of time if you are located in close proximity to them. However, if you don't know them very well, you should express your condolences and then politely move on so that others will have the opportunity to talk to them. This will allow them to focus on the people who do know them well. Because of this, you will have more time to devote to the people you already know.
If your relationship with the family is a close one, having a lengthy conversation with them is not required because it is not necessary. It is possible that the people who have recently lost someone will find some measure of comfort in the fact that you are there for them simply by being there.
Tips to Say the Best Things at a Funeral
Get yourself ready to deliver a eulogy before the memorial service. Because of the intense feelings that will be present during this event, it may be difficult to find the appropriate words to express how one feels.
Write Your Thoughts Down
Never give a speech at a memorial service without first thoroughly preparing it. Ever. You might have the impression that you know what to say, but when the moment actually arrives, you might be so overcome with emotion or grief that you forget what you were going to say. This could happen to you if you were expecting something bad to happen.
Invest some time in doing so, and you will notice that your thoughts are beginning to become more organised. In order to kickstart the creative process, you should have your loved ones and close friends share some of their memories with you.
Looking at old photos, videos, or letters can also be a good way to stimulate your creative juices. Utilize all of this material as a source of inspiration for your writing, and then write from the heart.
Draft some initial ideas and jot down your conclusions on note cards that are portable enough to carry in your pocket or purse. Create some rough draughts.
Make Personal Statements
There is no one phrase that can make someone who is grieving feel better, so instead, you should focus on finding words that demonstrate your concern or that can be helpful in some specific way.
Instead of using cliches or talking about your own experiences with grief, focus your comments on the person you are speaking with or the person who has passed away.
- I am very sorry to hear about the loss you experienced. I want you to be reassured that you will not be going through this challenge by yourself.
- You will never run out of joyful recollections of him to bring a smile to your face. You can count on that.
- I am unable to make your suffering any easier; however, if you'd like, I can be here for you to talk or think about the things that have happened in the past.
- She was an incredible person who left a mark for the better on the lives of everyone in whose path she crossed.
- Give yourself permission to shed some tears and think about the happiness you felt when he was a part of your life for a while.
- I'm at a loss for words, but I want you to know that you can count on me to be here for you whenever you require my assistance. Please know that you can always count on me to be here for you.
- Even though I can't say for certain that things will get easier in the future, I do believe that things will become a little bit less challenging as time goes on.
- The fact that there is such a large turnout to pay respects to the deceased is evidence of the kind of man he was.
- I am content with the fact that we are together, despite the fact that there are certain conditions under which I wish we could be together.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You should practise what you are going to say, whether it be in front of a mirror or with your closest friend. Record or videotape yourself so you can hear what your voice sounds like and see how you appear on camera.
Be sure to maintain a straight posture and look at the people in the room. If the thought of this makes you anxious, pick out one or two locations in the room and make those your points of focus.
This is of utmost significance whenever you are addressing a group of people. Practice what you are going to say, regardless of whether you have been asked to write and/or read the main tribute or eulogy or whether the memorial service will include an opportunity for attendees to share personal memories with one another. Your recollection should be concise in order to leave time for others to share, and you should begin with a phrase such as:
- When we were children... The very first time we met... The John moment that stands out most to me...
- This one time, I knew Jane to be (insert adjective here) kind of person...
Use Visual Aids
The use of visual aids is beneficial, despite the fact that the phrase may sound like something you would use while delivering a speech in English class.
Books, photographs, or even a baseball cap that you like to wear are all good examples of visual props that can give you something to talk about.
Keep in mind that others will be motivated to talk about the deceased person as a result of your speech.
Specific Things to Say at a Memorial Service
If you are at a loss for words, try using these tried-and-true tips to come up with something to say in the event that you are asked to speak at a memorial service for someone.
Incorporate Poems and Sayings
During your memorial speech, you may also choose to read a few funeral poems, recite some of the deceased person's favourite prayers, or quote some of their most meaningful life experiences.
This ceremony is both a celebration of life and a time to say goodbye to those who have passed away.
Not only can reading or listening to words of encouragement help you, but it can also help those who are in attendance with their own personal grief journeys. You are welcome to make copies of the poems and distribute them as keepsakes at the memorial service, if you so choose.
Keep in mind that the readings that are chosen for memorial services are typically brief and emotional.
- Memorial death sayings are succinct phrases of encouragement or quotations from famous people that are kept in memory of the deceased.
- To honour mothers and participate in the celebration of Mother's Day, consider reading one of the many Mother's Day memorial poems.
- Poems written in honour of grandfathers pay tribute to the eldest male members of the family. Grandfathers are typically the oldest men in the family.
- At a memorial service to be held on Father's Day, you might want to think about reciting a poem that honours your father.
- Grief poems written in languages other than English offer a multifaceted viewpoint and honour the deceased person's religious practise while at the same time providing comfort to the reader.
Use Multicultural Sayings
Even though expressing grief is primarily a personal experience, there are many different ways that it can be expressed across cultures.
In some societies, death is regarded as a tragic passing, while in others, it is celebrated as a happy new beginning. Make sure you have a complete understanding of the meaning of the words and the specific context in which they are used before offering any words that are specific to a particular culture.
When giving formal speeches, it is appropriate to include culturally relevant blessings or quotes. Consider using phrases that are more celebratory when offering words of comfort, or at the very least try to avoid getting too personal.
- It is appropriate to use peaceful phrases like "I offer this good deed (name the specific good deed you have done) in the name of (name of the deceased) because Buddhism places such a strong emphasis on reincarnation. Name the specific good deed you have done."
- There is a possibility that the phrase "Her spirit is one with nature" would be appropriate for a Native American service.
- A regular donation is required at Chinese wakes, and when you give it, you have the opportunity to say things like "My deepest respects are paid."
- You might want to say something like "May he go forth from this world in peace" due to the fact that in traditional Italian rituals, loved ones help the deceased person on their journey away from this world.
- It is appropriate to say things like, "I hope her soul finds its next destination," given that death is not regarded as a tragic event in the Hindu way of life but rather as a natural component of the Hindu way of living.
A Celebration of Life
A memorial service is a celebration of the life of the person who has passed away. These services are similar to funerals in that they honour the deceased. While the music is playing, numerous members of the family and some close friends take turns telling stories from their pasts.
In the form of a photo collage or slideshow, images of the person, as well as those of his or her family and friends, are shown to the audience.
The majority of the time, the prefered music of the cherished one being remembered will be playing in the background as the slideshow is being viewed. Due to the fact that memorial services are not typically intended to be solemn occasions, attendees typically walk away from the service without their hearts having been broken in any way.
Words of Love
A funeral or memorial service is the final opportunity for a group of people to express their condolences or celebrate the life of a person who has passed away.
Take advantage of the chance to talk about how you are feeling with other people so that you can both remember and heal from what has happened.
The best way to manage funeral costs is to pre-plan. To learn more, see our information on Prepaid Pre-Planned Funeral options.
Whether you write down what you're going to say, or you use a suggestion or the words of famous writers, what you say at a memorial service will be appreciated by grieving friends and family if you speak from the heart.
FAQs About Funerals
The ashes that remain are collected in vessels made of brass or clay ! Many may not know this, but the belly button of the deceased never burns to ash, it remains hard and in the same shape that it adorns the human body.
When someone dies, they don't feel things anymore, so they don't feel any pain at all.” If they ask what cremation means, you can explain that they are put in a very warm room where their body is turned into soft ashes—and again, emphasize that it is a peaceful, painless process.
How is the body prepared for cremation? Usually, the body is bathed, cleaned, and dressed before identification. There is no embalming unless you have a public viewing or you request it. Next, the technician removes jewelry or other items that you would like to keep.
By 50 years in, your tissues will have liquefied and disappeared, leaving behind mummified skin and tendons. Eventually these too will disintegrate, and after 80 years in that coffin, your bones will crack as the soft collagen inside them deteriorates, leaving nothing but the brittle mineral frame behind.
5 reasons not to go to the funeral:
Your attendance at the service would be disruptive or distracting to any member of the immediate family. Your attendance at the service would be upsetting to any member of the immediate family. The services are private and not open to the public.