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A eulogy (from εὐλογία, eulogia, Classical Greek for "good words") is a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, especially one recently deceased or retired[1][2][3] Eulogies may be given as part of funeral services, however some denominations either discourage or do not permit eulogies at services to maintain respect for traditions. Eulogies can also praise a living person or people who are still alive, which normally takes place on special occasions like birthdays etc. Eulogies should not be confused with elegies, which are poems written in tribute to the dead; nor with obituaries, which are published biographies recounting the lives of those who have recently died; nor with obsequies, which refer generally to the rituals surrounding funerals. Catholic priests are prohibited by the rubrics of the Mass from presenting a eulogy for the deceased in place of a homily during a funeral Mass.[4]

Eulogies are usually delivered by a family member or a close family friend in the case of a deceased person. For a living eulogy given in such cases as a retirement, a senior colleague could perhaps deliver it. On occasions eulogies are given to those who are severely ill or elderly in order to express words of love and gratitude before they pass away.

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