Here is the checklist to prepare for Memorial Services.
- Opportunity to celebrate life
- Venue, Date, Time and Guest List
- Have a master of ceremonies with good agenda
- Devotional music before and after
- Family and friends – short speeches
- Bhagavad Gita references by invitees
Suggestions for an effective Hindu memorial speech
An honor: Being invited to speak at a memorial is a great honor and important civic responsibility.
Thoughtful Preparations: Thoughtful preparation and attention to details is recommended.
For a more structured memorial speech format, one may use the following outline for guidance:
- Start with heartfelt opening remarks (introduce yourself and give your relationship to the deceased).
- If you are an immediate family member, thank attendees (especially those who have traveled a great distance).
- If you are not a family member, express your condolences.
- Talk about what made the deceased special, his/her hobbies (this is the main focus of your eulogy).
- Include any personal anecdotes (see more details below).
- If the deceased was spiritual and/or religious, talk about his/her commitment to Hindu tradition.
- Introduce select verses from Bhagavad Gita that apply to the cycle of life and death and grieving.
- Was the deceased a role model? If so, give some personal or general examples.
- If appropriate, mention the deceased's special relationships with immediate family members (children, grandchildren etc.).
- Offer words of comfort and perhaps a final farewell in closing.
Note: The memorial speech does not have to be in the form of a speech. If you are musically inclined, sing a song or play a musical tribute to the deceased. If the family agrees, read or sing a few verses from Bhagavad Gita or other scripters. If the deceased was fond of literature, read a poem or excerpt from a favorite author like Rabindranath Tagore.