Choosing the right words to say at a cremation ceremony to comfort the bereaved can be difficult. Here we’ll discuss what to say at a cremation ceremony to offer your condolences and show your support.
Cremation is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. In fact, more people than ever choose to be cremated once they’re gone, and it has changed the traditional funeral service.
Now instead of picking up coffins and having funeral services right after the death of their loved ones, people use urns of ashes and have cremation ceremonies.
If you’re planning to host a cremation ceremony or need to attend one, it’s important to have a clear idea of what to say.
In this article, we’ll discuss what to say at a cremation ceremony. It’ll help you understand the best way to publicly express your feelings and thoughts about the deceased.
What Is a Cremation Ceremony?
A cremation ceremony refers to a unique type of memorial or funeral service where cremated remains of a loved one are present in a cremation urn. Whether it’s a cremation memorial service or direct cremation, a coffin or casket isn’t required.
A cremation ceremony can take place at a funeral home, personal backyard, reception hall, church, or even a rented space. The following are the three different types of cremation ceremonies that are held in the United States.
The most common type of cremation ceremony involves the act of scattering the remains of the deceased. These remains are in the form of ashes and the family members of the deceased scatter them based on the local laws set by their state.
Some people host cremation ceremonies when they’re planning to place the cremation urn in a columbarium niche. These memorial services are very similar to a traditional funeral.
Ceremony at a Crematorium
The family of the deceased can also have a cremation ceremony at a crematorium where the cremation process takes place. It’s the least popular type of ceremony in the United States.
What to Say at a Cremation Ceremony?
A cremation ceremony will be an emotional time and it makes it difficult to find the right words. That’s why it’s important to write down something that acknowledges the loss and offers sympathy to the grieving family.
Unlike obituaries, you don’t need to follow an outline while writing down what you’ll say at the ceremony. It can be unique and should include personal remembrances and stories about the person who has passed away.
Not only will it give your comfort but it’ll also help other close friends and family members. Here are some cremation ceremony ideas that you can use to say the right words.
Write Down a Eulogy
A eulogy is a writing that’s specially designed for cremation services to soothe mourners and praise the deceased and honor their life. It can be moving and sad and you can also share your personal stories about the deceased.
While writing a eulogy, you’ll need to focus on your expressions and feelings without worrying about the writing style.
Keep in mind that eulogies are short, and you don’t want to attempt to touch all the aspects of a person’s life. The following is a brief example of a eulogy that you can use.
[Name] was a source of adventure and excitement in my life for many years. S/he showed up for life in the most spectacular way conceivable. I always knew we’d be great friends when I first met him/her.
[Name] was a wonderful human being, and his/her heart was big enough to provide personalized attention to every person s/he ever met. S/he touched the lives of all of us, and his/her positivity and kindness will leave an indelible mark.
Tips to Follow While Writing a Eulogy
Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind while writing down a eulogy.
- You don’t want to take more than a couple of minutes to say a eulogy. So make sure you keep it as short and simple as possible. Keep in mind that less is more.
- It’s perfectly fine to share something funny or a sad story from the life of the deceased. But keep in mind that it’s an important occasion and you’re attending it to honor the memory of your loved one. So, keep your eulogy dignified.
- Make your eulogy uplifting and positive. You don’t want to start introducing the deceased as most people would already know their personality. Additionally, never talk about any negative personality trait of the person even if you’re sharing a real-life story.
- If you’re too emotional and can’t speak during the cremation ceremony, consider asking a funeral director, family member, or pastor to read what you wrote on your behalf.
- It is easy to fall into the trap of writing down a chronological list of life events about the deceased’s life, and you must avoid it. Instead, concentrate on narrating events and stories that enrich your loved one’s life.
Share a Quote or Poem
You can also choose to say one of your favorite memorial quotes at the cremation ceremony. It can be a Bible verse, a poem, or something the deceased used to say.
Make sure that you choose something sentimental, uplifting, and short.
Tips for Poems
You can use the following tips to select the right poem for a cremation ceremony.
- Select a poem that pays tribute to the oldest man of the family if you’re at the cremation ceremony of someone’s grandfather. For example, “A Tribute to My Grandfather” by Kelly Roper.
- You can use a memorial poem written for moms while attending a cremation ceremony of someone’s mother, such as “Child and Mother” by Eugene Field.
- There are also many poems, such as “That Man is a Success” by Robert Louis Stevenson, that you can say at the ceremony of someone’s father.
Use Personal Statements
Keep in mind that your presence will mean a lot to the grieving family. In fact, one of the main purposes of the cremation, funeral, or memorial service is just being there with your loved one during hard times.
No one is looking for perfect words on such occasions. So, if you don’t have the nerve to say a eulogy, you can simply offer a verbal reminder by saying “I’m here for you whenever you need.”
If you’re close to one or more mourners, then saying “I love you” would be a wise idea. These words are always soothing and make it a little bit easy for the grieving family to go through such a time.
There is no universal statement that can make the grieving family feel better. You should look for phrases that express your feelings and show that you care.
Say something about the person you’re speaking to or the departed, and never attempt to say something about yourself or your mourning experience.
Here are some other examples of personal statements that you can use.
- We’ll always have memories of [Name] to make us smile.
- Death can never be easy, and I am sorry for your loss. But you’re not and won’t be alone.
- I cannot take away your pain, but I can listen and talk with you if you like.
- I have no words to say; I’m sorry for your loss. I just want to let you know that I’m here for you.
- [Name] was a kindhearted and great person and s/he added so much to all the lives s/he touched.
- I wish to God that we were here under different circumstances.
- The presence of all these people and the respect they’re paying show the kind of person s/he was.
Say a Prayer
Prayer is something that people of all religions practice. Saying a prayer at a cremation ceremony will give strength to the grieving family to face the bitter reality.
“The Lord’s Prayer,” “Psalms 23,” “the Christian Prayer of the Dead,” and “The Irish Funeral Prayer” are the most commonly used prayers that Christians say during a cremation ceremony.
How Do You Honor Someone Who Has Been Cremated?
The best way to honor someone who has been cremated is to write down a eulogy and say it at a cremation ceremony. If you’re too emotional to speak, you can ask a family member, pastor, or funeral director to say the eulogy on your behalf.
What Happens During Cremation Ceremony?
A cremation ceremony provides the loved ones of the deceased with a designated space and time to grieve and support one another. It’s an act of remembrance in which close family members and friends say eulogies to pay tribute to a life well lived.
What Words to Say When Scattering Ashes?
You can choose quotes, poems, and Bible verses while scattering ashes. “Ashes to ashes,” “a psalm of life,” and “wish you were here” are some common words that you can use.
Death is never a pleasant experience, but it’s an unavoidable one. The cremation ceremony provides an opportunity to say something heart-touching to soothe you and the grieving family and lessen the pain.
We hope this guide will help you choose the right words to say at the cremation ceremony to express your feelings for the deceased and mourners.