In times of grief, finding the strength to craft a heartfelt funeral tribute or eulogy can be a daunting task as many people find it difficult to fully express their emotions after a loss. However, for many others, sharing memories can also provide solace and comfort which is why tributes and eulogies have become a popular tradition at many funerals and celebrations of life

Differences Between Eulogies & Tributes

While both eulogies and tributes serve as ways to honour and remember a loved one who has passed away, there are slight differences between the two:

  • A eulogy is typically a more formal speech delivered during the funeral or memorial services and its focus is on commemorating the life of the deceased by highlighting their accomplishments, qualities, and impact on others. It often includes personal anecdotes, memories, and reflections shared by the speaker. Eulogies are directed towards those attending the funeral or memorial service, providing them with an opportunity to celebrate the life of the person who has passed away and offering a sense of comfort and support to grieving family and friends. 


  • A tribute on the other hand is more informal and can take a variety of forms including speeches, videos, slideshows, or other symbolic acts and can include music and even multiple people in their delivery. Much like a eulogy, the content will focus on honouring the person who has passed away but will be directed more towards the individual being honoured rather than the audience. It serves to express affirmation, appreciation, and gratitude towards the individual, acknowledging their contributions, influence, and significance in the lives of others both personally and professionally.


Who Reads The Eulogy At A Funeral?

A eulogy is typically read by a close family member or friend who has a deep connection to the deceased and can offer personal insights and reflections on their life, but in many religious funerals can also be read by a religious leader, spiritual leader, Elder, or other figure. Ultimately the person chosen to deliver the eulogy is often someone who knew the deceased well and can effectively convey their character, accomplishments, and impact on others. The decision of who reads a eulogy or tribute ultimately depends on the preferences of the deceased and their family, as well as cultural or religious customs.


What Topics Should Be Covered In A Funeral Tribute Or Eulogy?

When writing a eulogy or creating a tribute, it’s best to focus on the qualities and personality traits of the person who has passed away and this may include:

  • The person’s character  
  • Accomplishments or things that brought them joy or pride
  • Contributions and impact on family, friends, and the community 
  • Meaningful memories and experiences 
  • Knowledge they imparted or skills they taught others 


How Long Should A Eulogy Or Funeral Tribute Be?

While the length of the eulogy or funeral tribute can vary depending on the message you want to portray or the customs and expectations of the family, most tributes will usually be around 5-10 minutes in duration. Using this as a guide may help you make your message more concise and impactful, but also take the pressure off speaking for a long length of time. 

You also don’t have to recite from memory – it’s common for eulogies and tributes to be read out and most venues will be able to provide you with a stand where you can place your notes and a microphone so you can be heard clearly without having to project your voice. 


How To Deal With Emotions While Delivering A Eulogy Or Funeral Tribute

It’s natural to experience a range of emotions when delivering a eulogy or funeral tribute, and understandably that can make it difficult to speak or remain fully focused. If you feel overwhelmed, pause and take a breath – the audience will be sympathetic, so take time to compose yourself and try not to worry. Similarly, if you stumble over your words, lose your place in your notes, need a minute to get a tissue, or anything else at all, try not to worry or get embarrassed – it’s an emotional occasion and showing vulnerability is completely normal. 


Examples Of Eulogies And Tributes

We hope some of the short template examples below will provide inspiration and placeholders where you can contribute your own stories and words. 

Example 1: Tribute To A Parent/Guardian

As I stand before you today, I am honoured to pay tribute to my beloved [parent/guardian], who was not only my guiding light but also a pillar of strength for our family.

One of the qualities that defined [name] was their unwavering kindness. I remember [examples of interactions], demonstrating compassion and empathy in every interaction.

Many of you may recall [name]’s love for gardening. [His/Her] green thumb was legendary, and our backyard was transformed into a place where friends and neighbours wanted to gather, spend quality time together, and allow us to admire [name]’s handiwork.

Let us carry forward [name]’s legacy by embracing kindness, compassion, and resilience in our own lives. Though [he/she] may no longer be with us in body, [his/her] spirit will continue to inspire and uplift us.


Example 2: Tribute To A Grandparent Or Older Family Member

Today, we gather to celebrate the remarkable life of my beloved [grandparent / family member], [name]. To me, [he/she] was a source of wisdom, love, and endless stories that filled our hearts with joy.

Some of my fondest memories with [grandparent / family member] were our heart-felt catchups during our weekly baking sessions. [He/She] also taught me the importance of patience and perseverance, whether we were perfecting [his/her] famous apple pie or trying out a new recipe from [his/her] childhood.

Many of you may remember [grandparent / family member]’s love for animals. Growing up, we spent time playing with our beloved pets but also learned about responsibility and compassion, and we found our own love for the great outdoors through going on walks with our dog, or horseriding through the countryside. 

As we bid farewell to [name], let us carry forward [his/her] legacy of love, laughter, and resilience. Though [he/she] may no longer be with us in body, [his/her] spirit will continue to bloom in our hearts, reminding us of the beauty and joy of life.


Example 3: Tribute To A Sibling Or Younger Member Of The Family

Today, we come together to celebrate the life of my beloved [sibling], [name]. Though [he/she] may have been taken from us too soon, [his/her] spirit will forever live on in the memories we cherish and the love we shared.

Growing up with [sibling] was an adventure filled with laughter, mischief, and unconditional love. [He/She] was not only my sibling but also my confidant, my partner-in-crime, and my closest friend.

Many of you may remember [name]’s passion for music. [He/She] had a great talent for playing the piano and we were all so immensely proud of [him/her] last year when [he/she] played for an audience for the first time.  

As we bid farewell to [name], let us carry forward the love and laughter [he/she] brought into our lives. Though [he/she] may no longer be with us in body, [his/her] spirit will forever echo in our hearts, reminding us to cherish each moment and hold tight to the bonds of family.


Example 4: Eulogy For A Friend

Today, we gather to celebrate the life of our dear friend [name], whose radiant smile and infectious laughter brought joy to everyone fortunate enough to know [him/her].

What I admired most about [name] was [his/her] unwavering optimism – even in the face of tough challenges, [he/she] remained resilient, finding light in the darkest of moments and being a pillar of strength and a source of encouragement for us all. 

I’ll never forget the annual road trips we took together every summer – creating small traditions through inside jokes, enjoying spontaneous sing-alongs and late-night conversations under the stars – every moment helped us bond, support each other, and take a break from everyday sameness.

As we bid farewell to [name], let us remember the memories we shared and continue the traditions we started. Though [he/she] may no longer walk beside us, [his/her] spirit will live on in our hearts forever.


Example 5: Eulogy For A Mentor

Today, we gather to honour the life and legacy of my esteemed mentor, [name]. [He/She] was not only a visionary leader but also a compassionate guide who inspired countless individuals to reach for their dreams.

I still recall the day I first met [name] – [he/she] saw potential in me that I didn’t even know existed and believed in me when I doubted myself. [His/Her] unwavering support and encouragement shaped not only my career but also my outlook on life – giving me a positive perspective that in turn drove my ambition not only for myself but also to do [him/her] proud.

Many of you may have experienced [name]’s legendary storytelling abilities. Whether recounting tales of triumph or adversity, [he/she] had a gift for weaving words that captivated our minds, touched our souls, and truly made us think and feel.

As we say goodbye to [name], let us carry forward the lessons [he/she] imparted and the values [he/she] embodied. Though [he/she] may no longer walk beside us, [his/her] legacy of inspiration and empowerment will live on in the lives [he/she] touched and we can all carry that legacy forward to inspire the next generation. 


Speak to our team at your nearest James Ashton & Son branch in Dundee and St Andrews:

1, 1a Cardean Street, Dundee, Angus, DD4 6PS

188 High Street, Lochee, Dundee, Angus, DD2 3DN

132 – 136 Hilltown, Dundee, Angus, DD3 7BJ

56 Largo Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8RP (Macgregors)

Planning a funeral or tribute can be a daunting task, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Your dedicated James Ashton & Son Funeral Director will be there to help you along every step of the way! They will work with you to create a funeral and lasting tribute that is personal and meaningful, and they will be there to offer support to you and your family during this difficult time.