Jewish Funeral Traditions
The Process of a Jewish Funeral
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Delivering and writing a eulogy is a noble gesture that is worthy of thought and effort. It is an opportunity to make a contribution to a memorial service, a contribution that your friends and family will remember for a long time.
Writing a eulogy, a tribute, a letter, or keeping a journal represents another equally valuable opportunity for you. The ability to use the writing process as a therapeutic tool to help you deal with your grief. The power of writing is undeniable and there is no better time than now for you to discover and take advantage of this. To assist you, we provide the following funeral eulogy advice:
An example of an excellent eulogy is the one President George H.W. Bush delivered for President Ronald Reagan. A sitting US President is usually responsible for delivering the eulogy for a fallen friend, predecessor, or otherwise popular public figure. In the case of Ronald Reagan’s passing, President Bush was the sitting President so it was only natural that he delivered the eulogy for his fallen predecessor.
The eulogy is quite lengthy and can be read in full here.
We’ve collected a few excerpts from the eulogy to serve as an example of how to write a eulogy.
|"It has been 10 years since he said his own farewell, yet it is still very sad and hard to let him go. Ronald Reagan belongs to the ages now, but we preferred it when he belonged to us. In a life of good fortune, he valued above all the gracious gift of his wife, Nancy. During his career, Ronald Reagan passed through a thousand crowded places, but there was only one person, he said, who could make him lonely by just leaving the room."|
This first passage is a great example of discussing the kind of person Ronald Reagan was, and the love and admiration the country had for him throughout his life from his acting years to his political years. It shows how he loved his wife more than anything and that she was the most important person in his life.
"The qualities all of us have seen in Ronald Reagan were first spotted 70 and 80 years ago. As the lifeguard in Lowell Park, he was the protector, keeping an eye out for trouble. As a sports announcer on the radio, he was the friendly voice that made you see the game as he did. As an actor, he was the handsome all-American good guy, which in his case required knowing his lines and being himself. Along the way, certain convictions were formed and fixed in the man.
Ronald Reagan believed that everything happens for a reason and that we should strive to know and do the will of God. He believed that the gentleman always does the kindest thing. He believed that people were basically good and had the right to be free. He believed that bigotry and prejudice were the worst things a person could be guilty of. He believed in the golden rule and in the power of prayer. He believed that America was not just a place in the world, but the hope of the world."
This second passage discusses some of the qualities and beliefs Ronald Reagan had as a man. It shows how the qualities and beliefs everyone recognized in him during his political career were present throughout his life. Unlike most people where a career in Hollywood or Washington changes a person, Ronald Reagan was unaltered in his beliefs and a man of substance and character.
"He came to office with great hopes fo'r America. And more than hopes. Like the president he had revered and once saw in person, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan matched an optimistic temperament with bold, persistent action.
President Reagan was optimistic about the great promise of economic reform, and he acted to restore the rewards and spirit of enterprise. He was optimistic that a strong America could advance the peace, and he acted to build the strength that mission required.
He was optimistic that liberty would thrive wherever it was planted, and he acted to defend liberty wherever it was threatened.
And Ronald Reagan believed in the power of truth in the conduct of world affairs. When he saw evil camped across the horizon he called that evil by its name."
The entire eulogy does an excellent job of painting a picture of his entire life. It discusses where he came from, the successes he had in his career, and how his character and beliefs were present and unaltered throughout his lifetime. Ultimately, he was an important part of America’s history and made an impact on its citizens and way of life.
Funeral Eulogy Advice: How to Deliver a Eulogy
If you decide to write a eulogy and deliver it, realize that it may be the most difficult speech you will ever make; and it may be the most rewarding. It is important to realize that people are not going to judge you. They will be very supportive. No matter what happens, it will be okay. If you break down in the middle of your speech, everyone will understand. Take a moment to compose yourself, and then continue. There is no reason to be embarrassed. Remember, giving a eulogy is a noble gesture that people will appreciate and admire.
If you can, make the eulogy easy to read. On a computer, print out the eulogy in a large type size. If you are using a typewriter, put extra carriage returns between the lines. If you are writing it by hand, print the final version in large letters and give the words room to breath by writing on every second or third line.
Before the service, consider getting a small cup of water. Keep it with you during the service. When you go to the podium to deliver the eulogy, take the water with you in case you need it. Sipping water before you start and during the speech if needed, will help relax you. If you are nervous before delivering the eulogy, breathe deeply and tell yourself that everything will be fine. It will be. Look around at your relatives and friends and realize that they are with you 100 percent. Realize that it is acceptable to read the eulogy without making eye contact with the audience, if that would be easier for you. Take your time. Do the best you can. No one expects you to have the delivery of a great orator or the stage presence of an actor. Just be you.