What to write in a book of condolence | The Sun

IT can be tricky to know exactly what to write when paying your respects to a friend or loved one in a book of condolence.

Books of condolence can be helpful in supporting those who have lost someone close to them and so, it is important to say the right thing. Here is what you need to know:

What to write in a book of condolence

It is helpful to go to any funeral prepared for the prospect of needing to write a condolence message as lots of funerals have books for this purpose.

Giving it some thought beforehand can help you to not trip up on the day.

It is wise to keep your message brief, as the family will likely have lots of them to read.

It is also advised to add some personal touches to your message so that all the messages don't look exactly the same.

It is fine to be inspired by examples of condolence messages, but it always best to include personal memories or references.

It is also best to avoid the cliches like, "I'm sorry for your loss".

As much as it might be tempting to stick with these phrases, chances are, they have heard them all before and they don't go a long way in helping them feel better.

It is better to try and re-work these tired phrases and make them more personal to the deceased.

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Some people choose to include poems in their condolence messages, rather than coming up with original words.

While it can be nice to come up with your own words, choosing an appropriate poem for the occasion is also a good idea.

If you choose a poem that the deceased person liked or one that relates to their situation, it can be the perfect thing to include in your message.

Although, remember that the point is not to pile on more pain to the family reading it and so, try and avoid anything that is overly heartbreaking.

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Quotes that have been made famous, have been popularised for a reason.

It is usually because the speaker articulated what they wanted to say really well.

Therefore, it is certainly a good idea to take a quote in which someone has summarised something well.

However, remember that it should be a personal message and relate to you in some way.

Do not simply regurgitate someone else's words for the sake of it, but if done right, it can be really effective.


It is important to consider whether the family of the deceased person are religious and whether this is something they would relate to.

While some families would love to receive a prayer in a book of condolence, others would not be moved by it in the same way.

If you know that the family is religious, however, this can be the perfect choice for a condolence message as it will provide them comfort and strength during their difficult time.


Overall, you want your message to be heartfelt and thoroughly considered.

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Make sure you do not rush your message as it might have a big effect on the person reading it: good or bad.

So, take your time and think through these tips when writing a message in a book of condolence.

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