Funeral Readings for Dad

A look at why writing a eulogy for your dad is important and how to go about writing one

Last updated: 2 August 2019

picture of a microphone

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Finding the right words to say at a funeral for dad is always going to be an emotional experience. Whether you’ve been asked to write the eulogy or you’ve opted to put it together yourself, the pressure you’ll undoubtedly feel is completely understandable.

There are some general things to remember when writing a eulogy and it can be a daunting task, whoever you are writing about. But writing a eulogy for a close family member might be the toughest and for a parent who you loved and respected, even tougher still. For many people, writing a eulogy can be one of the hardest parts of organising a funeral.

Here we discuss some ideas for making this emotional task a bit more bearable and how you can go about finding the best things to say in a eulogy for your father.

Why is a eulogy for your father important?

As your father’s son or daughter, your eulogy is important because you were probably one of the closest people to him. Many sons or daughters choose to write or read a eulogy at their father’s funeral, as a way of thanking him for who he was and acknowledging how hard it is to say goodbye.

How you reflect on your relationship in your eulogy for dad, helps tell the story of his life, as well as the part he played in yours.

How do I write a speech for my dad's funeral?

If you don’t know where to begin writing a eulogy for your dad, you could start by jotting down the memories and anecdotes that make you miss him, smile or feel proud.

It’s likely that you will have a unique perspective on your father that is almost impossible to match. It’s definitely worth looking to friends and other family members for anecdotes and stories, but your life with them is probably your richest resource.

Whether they are memories you’ve shared together, stories told to you by old friends or tales he’s given you from his life; you should bring together as much inspiration as you can get your hands on before you start writing.

See if he was one man with you and another with friends his own age. If that’s the case, what were the differences and why do you think that might have been?

How do I find the words to say about my dad at the funeral?

To find the right words to say about your dad at the funeral it’s helpful to brainstorm a bit and think about your father’s life as a whole, about how he specifically had an effect on you and the people he knew. Try considering the following:

  • What he was like as a person?

  • Was he funny or stern, ambitious or carefree?

  • What were his hobbies? Did he have an interest in sports or a passion for trains?

  • What was his favourite joke?

  • Which are the things you’ll remember that are so “Dad”?

Writing out key points in your dad’s life can also be a help to get the story of his life in order

  • His childhood

  • Early schooling

  • University or college years

  • Working life

  • His marriage and/or subsequent relationships

  • Your childhood experiences with him

  • His later years

You will probably end up with more material than you could fit into a eulogy, but from that point you can begin editing down to the most thought provoking and evocative elements.

What readings and quotes can I include in my funeral speech for dad?

Not everyone is a naturally confident writer and if you’re worried that you can’t find the right words to put in your eulogy, there are a whole range of funeral readings for dad you could include that reflect your father’s life and how you felt about him.

If he was funny then you might want to think about writing a funny eulogy for your dad. If he was into drama, then perhaps including a quote from Shakespeare might be appropriate.

There are poems which are used often in eulogies as they can put into simple words complex feelings and emotions. If he was a non-religious man, celebration of life poems might reflect that best.

It could be a short funeral verse or something longer, but so long as you feel the connection, it will be appropriate.

How long should a eulogy for your father be?

A eulogy for your father should be between 5-7 minutes long. This is not a hard and fast rule, but most funeral directors would suggest this length as it’s in line with generally accepted schedules for crematorium services and burials. Beyond how long a venue might have earmarked for readings, longer and shorter eulogies come with their own problems.

A longer eulogy might feel like it’s giving more information, but you might also lose focus in your writing. You want to keep a eulogy tight and relevant so that people can get a real sense of who your father was to you.

On the other hand, a short eulogy for father might skim over important details. Mourners have come to pay their respects and a well written eulogy could well remind them of interesting, funny, heart warming or surprising elements of the person they’ve come to pay respects to.

How do I give a eulogy for my father without crying?

You don’t have to worry about crying when giving your father’s eulogy. It’s not a time when anyone would judge you for crying, because someone close to your heart has died. If you do find yourself getting emotional and unable to carry on, pause and take a few deep breaths. People attending the funeral will almost certainly be patient with you.

You should also not worry about not crying. Everyone grieves in their own way and however you express your emotions is the right way for you.

What’s a really good eulogy for a dad?

Writing a ‘good’ eulogy is as simple as speaking from the heart. If you speak about what that relationship was built on, that will remind other mourners how they connected with him too.