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MC for a memorial service

  • Joined 11/29/05
  • 401

I am being asked to be the MC for my mother's (step) memorial service. Has anyone else done this before? I am not an experienced public speaker. Seeking ideas.

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Air Air
  • Joined 12/30/04
  • 10190
  • Post #1
  • Originally posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 (5 years ago)

Anecdotes and stories (happy, funny, tender, ones that highlight the type of person she was) are usually a good place to start. Think of an overall theme you might want to concentrate on (her life accomplishments, family bonds, etc...) to give yourself a guideline.

My condolences for you and your family's loss.

Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?

  • Joined 5/18/04
  • 6808
  • Post #2
  • Originally posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 (5 years ago)

The "official" term for your role is (weirdly) a celebrant ... you might want to google "funeral celebrant" to see what others do for ideas.

We had a celebrant lead my father's funeral last year - he came to my mother's house and "interviewed" us - wanted my dad's life story, where he went to school as a lad, how he got into his career, the various transition points in his life (education, jobs, family, etc.), and invited us to solicit tributes from those who weren't going to be able to speak at the funeral that he could read out. He wanted to know my dad's favorite songs, and chose three to be played. He wanted to know quirks about dad (think Matthew's speech at Gareth's funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral).

If you're not good with public speaking, I'd suggest you make plenty of notes, rehearse what you're going to say in front of someone you trust to give constructive comments, and make sure you have at least bullet points to keep you on track during the day.

Strength to you, and sympathy and condolences on your loss.

"Change your thoughts, and you change your world" - Norman Vincent Peale.

  • Joined 9/14/01
  • 3373
  • Post #3
  • Originally posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 (5 years ago)
Quoted from "Air"
Anecdotes and stories (happy, funny, tender, ones that highlight the type of person she was) are usually a good place to start. Think of an overall theme you might want to concentrate on (her life accomplishments, family bonds, etc...) to give yourself a guideline.

In your original post you referred to your mother as "mother (step)", not simply "step-mother". Not all relationships like this work out that way. Often the relation between children and step-mother in a family is simply one where the children see their step-mother as "our father's new wife, related to us only by marriage". This relationship in your case seems to have been much closer than that. You mom had to earn it.

In a sense, you adopted each other (whether formally in family court or not). Perhaps a fitting memorial to your mother would be to include anecdotes and stories about how this came about. Doing this will not only make what you say more personal, but it will also highlight your mother's good character and best qualities.

"A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having" - V

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