How to Write a Resolution For a Funeral
By Janet Hudspeth
How to write a resolution for a funeral? Boy was that ever the question I needed the answer to the first time I was asks to write for a funeral.
I remember it was for the service of a family member and I was unsure exactly how to go about it, but through some quick research and talking with the family I made it through it. I receiving many thanks and have been asks a number of times through the years for my assistance in this area.
How to write a resolution for a funeral, and how to write a funeral program have become much sought after skills in recent years, partly because people are not satisfied with the old traditionally somber and sad offerings of years past. And, partly because most people know that they can find the “how-to-do” most anything on-line saving themselves time, money and stress.
Resolutions of the past were bare, bleak, brief and mostly produced by churches and funeral homes. Today families look for someone who knows how to write a funeral resolution that is a joyful affirmation, full of heartfelt words of comfort that will leave a glow in their hearts and more smiles than tears.
The “funeral resolution” or “expression of condolence” speech as they are sometimes called, seem to be terms that are used frequently interchangeably, although, they are two very different instruments or ways of commemorating a loved one during a funeral service.
Since this is so, I strongly recommend that when you are writing funeral resolutions or condolence speeches,that you seek clarification from the person making the request to make sure you are both on the same page or speaking of the same thing.
Tip: Let them refer to it as they will just make sure you understand what they want.
Tip: Here are some quick step-saving references excerpted from the Merriam Webster dictionary: Resolution: a formal expression of opinion will, or intent voted by an official body, author’s comments: Official bodies could include church, lodge, sorority, civic group,company etc…On the other hand, assembled group: Assembled group may include Family, friends etc…Condolence: An expression of sympathy.
The resolution or expression of condolence is the place in the service dedicated to fondly recalling warm, happy, and proud times in the life of a loved one. Admittedly, this can be an emotional time for all, especially the speaker. And, what you say will affect the family and be remembered for a long time. For this reason, the resolution should be warm, not to long five minutes or so, and your words carefully chosen.
I was honored to contribute from my memories at my own grandmother’s passing; here is a short excerpt: “She answered to many names; Mother, Big Gran, Gran, or just Grandmother whatever you called her, she loved to cook for her children and grandchildren. Whatever your favorite dish was, if you just let her know you wanted it, she would cook it for you with joy. She had a gentle, warm smile and a generous heart.”
Writing a funeral resolution is not as scare as it may seem, just remember along with your own expressions, to solicit memory contributions from friends and family. As you include the thoughts and memories of others in your speech, you will be able to give rich insight into the life of their loved one.
Tip: Make use of these life events as memory joggers when asking for comments from others. Memories/stories surrounding the loved one’s marriage, family, schooling/graduations, military service, achievements, accomplishments, civic clubs, hobbies, job/career milestones, church, school, awards, trophies, commendations etc…
It may seem like a given, but do make good use of your phone, fax and email they are excellent time saving devices for pulling all of this information together quickly.
Something that would be much appreciated and cherished by the family would be a copy of your speech. You may want to present a framed copy of it or insert it in a card of condolence to the person who asks you to do the resolution. And, thank you for caring enough to give your very best!
As you embark on your journey of comforting through words let me invite you to take advantage of my amazing mini-course called, “The Five Biggest Mistakes People Make While Creating a Memorial Funeral Program: http://www.TheirLifeRemembered.com
Janet L. Hudspeth, your desktop publishing guide and Memorial Funeral Program specialist