How Does One Offer Words of Condolence at a Funeral?

What are some funeral words of condolence tips?

  • Just your mere presence at a funeral speaks louder than words
  • Keep your message short and simple
  • Kind, gentle words such as ‘I’m so sorry” will more than suffice
  • At the funeral, you can hand over a small floral tribute with a note if words don’t come easily
  • Rely on your own good judgment when to approach the grieving family at the funeral


A Death Leaves us at a Loss for Words – Words of Condolence

Words of CondolenceMost of us have got a lot to say at the best of times, but are stumped when it comes to knowing what to say to someone who has lost a loved one. It’s never easy, but you can’t just ignore it – you need to say something to offer your sympathy.

In many cultures in South Africa, after a death, the first event that follows is a visitation or wake. The family receives visitors who come to offer words of comfort and support. If you offer words of condolence at the wake, it won’t be necessary to do so again at the funeral.

The words you say don’t have to be a long phrase. It could just be ‘my deepest sympathy’ to let the person know you’re aware of their grief and you’re thinking of them.

You’re Highly Unlikely to Offend Anyone – Words of Condolence

Do research and you’ll find many articles from different personalities telling you what to say and what not to say. People have become paranoid now as to how to approach those in mourning with the precisely correct words lest they offend someone. You don’t have to rehearse long phrase – just say 3 words – my deepest sympathy.

During times of sadness, some people are so ‘not themselves’, they tend to blurt out things that they wouldn’t normally say. If you’re afraid of doing this, look up on good ideas for what to say on the Internet, and then you won’t be caught off guard.

Just like you, most people are uncomfortable at a time of loss. All it requires is for you to simply quietly think about what you will say to the person when you speak to them for the first time after the death of their loved one.

Words that Come to the Rescue – Words of Condolence

You don’t have to learn any long sentences off by heart because that just makes it even more stressful for you. Look at some short, simple examples of what to say here. Just use them as a guide if you are truly at a loss as to what to say at a funeral, in a note of sympathy or over the phone.

1. So sorry for your loss
2. You and ‘John’ are in my thoughts and prayers
3. There isn’t really anything I can say to make your loss easier, but I’m sending you my love and support.
4. My sincerest condolences for your loss. I’ll never forget ‘John’
5. So saddened to hear about ‘John’s’ passing – strength for the days ahead

Words like these can be spoken or written before and after the funeral. Fortunately, there are many options for you to familiarise yourself with and which will be perfect for conveying your feelings.

Anyone who is sensitive to other’s feelings will know what to say at a funeral. However, there are those who battle to find the right words, and by choosing the words you think are nearest to what you would say, you’ll sail through the funeral feeling comfortable and with a spirit of joy.

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All info was correct at time of publishing