Microphone and flowers

Speech ideas for readings at funerals

Posted by AK Lander | On June 21, 2021 00:00

If you’re thinking of doing a reading or speech at an upcoming funeral or wake, read on to find speech ideas for readings at funerals.

A funeral can be an emotional event, whether you are there as a friend or a family member, but they should be seen as events to celebrate a special person’s life and the happy memories that were shared.

A popular way to share positive messages of love at a funeral is to share a reading or quote that your loved one would have liked. Whether you choose a chapter from a book, a song or a poem, standing up in front of the crowd and reading out loud can be a lovely way to share your appreciation and memories with those at the ceremony. In this article, we take a look at some of the best quotes and script ideas for reading at a funeral with recommendations and suggestions from those within the funeral industry.

Poetry and literature

Person reading a book

A lovely way to share the love at a funeral and to honour the wishes of the passing is to share their favourite poem or a piece of literature that you think represents them and their life achievements. Karen Bussen, expert and the founder of Farewelling, tells us a little more about the popularity of funeral readings and why they are growing in popularity:

“Reading something aloud to a group at a funeral, whether the text is more or less traditional, creates a sense of ceremony. It's a way of gathering energy and touching hearts. Well-chosen readings at a funeral can comfort, inspire and even uplift those who are attending. If the readings offer a message that is aligned with the person's perspective or outlook on life (witty, thoughtful, grateful, spiritual, etc), the shared sentiments can have the effect of making people feel closer to the one they've lost.”

She continues to explain that poems and literature are often a popular choice for those wanting to do a reading, but people should make sure the scripture fits the mood and values of the service and the loved one you are saying goodbye to:

“The key to choosing readings for a funeral is--as with many details around planning a personal tribute--to think first and foremost about the individual you're honouring. There are so many wonderful options, from scripture and poetry to literature, song lyrics, and even humour. Match the tone of any selected readings to the mood of the service, and to the values, style and personality of the person whose life you're honouring. In the Farewelling Planning Toolkit, we have collected hundreds of great readings to inspire families.”

Song lyrics

Microphone in church

Almost everyone has a song or an artist that they love and enjoy, so why not turn your speech into a tribute to your loved ones favourite band or singer and choose a quote from their favourite song?

Simplicity.com recommends looking at song or movie lyrics as a light-hearted option for those who are struggling to find the perfect text for their funeral reading: “If you are struggling to find a suitable reading for your loved one’s funeral, then another idea is to step away from poetry and verse and look outside the box. Songs, movies and books are packed with excellent verses and passages to read at a funeral. If the person had a favourite song, then lyrics could be spoken rather than sang.”

A chapter from a book

Funeral ceremony

A chapter or verse from a book are really popular options for funeral readings, whether that is a bible reading or a snippet from their favourite novel.

A book reading is a really personal way to remember your loved one whilst also retaining a personal and meaningful touch to the ceremony. The story doesn’t have to be a sombre affair, happy and comedic stories can often add a glimmer of happiness to a sad event.

Inspirational quotes

Outdoor ceremony

Inspirational quotes are always a popular choice at a funeral for those who want to make a small tribute to their friend or loved one and there is a whole range of quotes that can offer the sort of message you are looking for. Avalon Funeral Plan has listed a few of their favourite quotes in an article on their website:

“1. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

2. “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

3. “Grief is the price we pay for love.” – Anonymous

4. “All that we love deeply becomes part of us.” – Helen Keller

5. “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

6. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

7. “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Morrie Schwartz.”

If you’re planning to say a few words at an upcoming funeral, then we hope some of these options have given you a little inspiration to write a meaningful and thoughtful farewell message. If you have any questions about gravestones and UK headstones then don’t hesitate to get in contact.