Several years ago, at the funeral for a coworker's father, I witnessed a member of the clergy commit an unforgivable sin -- he got the name of the deceased wrong during the eulogy.
It wasn't obvious or glaring, like calling him Peter when his name was actually Frank. Instead, it was subtle, like calling him Allen when his name was Albert. And he only did it once, about midway through. Regardless, I heard it, and I immediately felt awful for my coworker and her family.
I can't really blame the clergyman; he wasn't the first and he won't be the last to eulogize someone whom he's never met. A growing number of people in our society do not attend church, yet they still want a "church funeral" when they die. And if a family member or friend cannot or will not deliver a eulogy, then members of the clergy, celebrants or some other officiant often will after collecting the necessary biographical data on the deceased.
If you ever find yourself in the position of writing and delivering a eulogy for a loved one, just remember one thing: get the name right!
How would you react if someone misspoke the name of your loved one during a eulogy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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