Sample Structure of the Ceremony
The ceremonial structure can be guided by these elements. It can be expanded on or condensed to suit the wishes of your relative.
Prelude Music Welcome Poetry or Reading or Music Eulogy Family Readers Poetry or Reading or Music Blessing or Silence or Prayer Announcement Post Ceremonial Music
Sample Elements of a Ceremony
The following are sample elements of a funeral/bereavement service:
Religious or Secular Ceremony: religious or non religious service; spiritual, but not religious; a mix of religious and spiritual; or, civil service with no mention of a higher power. Rituals: candle lighting; ringing of bells or chimes; floral offerings; or, sharing of wine/bread/food. Narrations: eulogy; poetry; scriptures; stories; or, prayers. Visual: DVD rresentation; pictures; or, Memory Book.
Preparing a Eulogy
A typical eulogy is about 5 to 10 minutes in length. It is recommended to leave the emotional elements for the end of the eulogy. Any additional tributes given by family or friends should be limited in length to keep the service from going too long. Young children and family members may want to write down a few sentences to be read aloud by Reverend Bennett or the person giving the eulogy.
Whether or not you are giving the eulogy, it is helpful to have certain facts and information available. Here is a sample eulogy outline to aid you in preparing the necessary information.
Sample Outline of a Eulogy
The following are suggestions for inclusion in a eulogy:
Give a brief history including birth date, place of birth, parents, grandparents, siblings. Where did they grow up? What was their childhood like? Where did they go to school? Professional and career accomplishments? Who did they marry? When and where? Children and grandchildren. How long were they married? Significant life accomplishments. Personal interests, hobbies, achievements. Character qualities, Christian service, and how they affected other lives.
Length of Service
The entire length of the service often depends on the number of guests. Time should be allowed either before or after the service to greet your guests and give them a moment to say their good byes to the deceased. It is recommended to keep the actual service length anywhere between 30-60 minutes.