The 50 most popular funeral quotes in the UK

The 50 most popular funeral quotes in the UK

by Jon Crawford2023-12-140

At Fenix, our mission is to make planning a funeral as stress-free as possible. 

We also pride ourselves on offering expert guidance on the daunting tasks involved in navigating bereavement, using our years of experience in the funeral industry to educate and guide our customers through this challenging time.   

Finding the right words to say after a death

Whether it’s for a eulogy at a funeral service or to offer our sympathy in a card or conversation, the shock and sadness of bereavement can sometimes leave us lost for words. From conversations with customers and our personal experiences, we know that for many people, finding the right words at such a time can be challenging.

We are often afraid of saying the ‘wrong thing’ in such a sensitive situation, yet some simple words of support can make a big difference to someone who is grieving. Acknowledging their feelings of sadness and loss and letting them know you are there for them can help them feel less alone. 

In such times, we often search for a phrase that sums up all of these feelings and the desire to offer comfort and hope to the deceased’s closest friends and family. With this in mind, we have compiled this guide to the 50 most popular funeral quotes for funerals in the UK.

Family funeral quotes

Losing a family member hits everyone in the household hard. Family is a natural support network and source of comfort, so when the order is disrupted, it can be a huge shock. 

Whether you want to offer words of comfort to others in the family at this difficult time or are looking for heartfelt words to include in a eulogy for a mother or father, we hope these suggestions will inspire you.

Quotes for Dad’s funeral

1. "A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way."  - Unknown

This short but powerful quote shows the lifelong influence of a father and the guidance and care they provide.

2. "The death of a father is like the fall of a forest, whole generations of birds are left homeless." - C.S. Lewis

This quote from the author C.S. Lewis evokes a powerful image of the profound impact of a father’s passing, using the metaphor of a fallen forest to illustrate the sense of loss and disorientation it can bring to his family.

3. “Dad never stopped looking for the next adventure. We all know he’ll tackle his final journey with as much joy, wonder and determination as he showed in life.” - Unknown

Final journey funeral quotes are common in the UK. The above quote could be adapted to pay tribute to a father who loved to travel and see the world.

Quotes for Mum’s funeral

4.  “A mother’s passing may leave an empty space in our lives, but her love leaves an imprint that will forever be etched in our souls”. - Unknown

This quote acknowledges the profound loss experienced upon the passing of a mother, but also affirms the enduring nature of her love, which remains a cherished part of our being. 

5. “The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” - Jill Churchill

This quote by the late American author, Jill Churchill, gives a down-to-earth and loving explanation of everything that a mother is.

6. “No matter how old we are, sometimes we just need our Mum”. - Unknown

If you’re looking for a short funeral quote in tribute to your mother, they don’t come any more succinct and sincere as this snippet.

7. “To the world you were a mother, but to your family and friends, you were the world.” - Unknown

Another short funeral quote that could be adopted for any member of the family who is much-missed.

Funeral quotes for grandma and granddad

8. “A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend. Her love lives on in our hearts forever.” - Unknown

The above quote could be adapted for a grandfather, too.

9. “You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.” - David Harkins

This is a short passage from the poem “She is Gone”, by David Harkins, which was read at the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002. It speaks of looking ahead to brighter days and honouring a mother’s wishes by continuing to live life to the full, not being paralysed by grief and sorrow.

10. “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” - Winston Churchill

This could work for a tribute to a grandfather or if you are looking for a more upbeat and funny funeral quote for a formidable character who left their mark on the world. It is a common choice at funerals in the UK, as it resonates well with older generations.

A funeral quote on the death of a brother or sister

11. “The love of siblings is the most unconditional love of all. It is pure and loyal. A love without demand, without expectations or pretence.” - Anoir Ou-Chad

Moroccan-born poet, author and therapist Anoir Ou-Chad sums up the deep bond siblings feel in this short quote. 

Goodbye quotes for funerals in the UK

Saying goodbye to a family member or close friend is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do. It can sound so final, which can be hard to process, especially when the loss is still so fresh. For this reason, many people turn to a quote to put these challenging emotions into words.

12. “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting” – J.M. Barrie

Quotes from J.M. Barrie’s children’s literature classic ‘Peter Pan’ are eternally popular at funerals in the UK. This poignant quote speaks of remembrance and memory and their power to keep our loved ones ‘alive’ in our minds and hearts.

13. “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Deeply spiritual and comforting, this short quote from Gandhi is a perennial favourite way of saying (or not saying) goodbye to a loved one.

14. “The two hardest things to say in life are ‘hello’ for the first time and ‘goodbye’ for the last”. - Unknown

15. “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” – Charles Dickens 

A popular and comforting quote from Dickens’ classic ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ is popular at funerals, nodding to the promise of being reunited in the afterlife. 

16. “This is not goodbye, it’s just a fond farewell to a friend.” - Elliott Smith

17.  “After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.” - J. K. Rowling. 

Author J. K. Rowling was writing ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ (from which this quote comes, spoken by Dumbledore) when the death of her mother shook her world. She has spoken about how the event influenced her work, leading to the ‘Harry Potter’ series being infused with themes of death and loss. 

18. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” - A. A. Milne

The above quote is one of a few Winnie the Pooh quotes for funerals featured in this list. A. A. Milne’s beloved teddy bear character and his friends provide a wealth of wisdom on friendship and many more themes that go beyond its label as a childrens’ book.

19. “Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. They just mean I’ll miss you until we meet again.” - Unknown

20. “We’ve been together through good times and bad, but now we must say goodbye… until the next time.” - Unknown

Remembrance funeral quotes

The following quotes could be used in many situations; as funeral service eulogies, speeches at remembrance events and sympathy messages. They help express our desire to hold on to the precious memories of our loved ones, to cherish the time we had with them and, most poignantly, to never forget them.

21. “Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” - George Eliot

A call to keep memories alive from the book ‘Adam Bede’ by celebrated 19th century English author George Eliot. 

22. “Always in our minds and hearts, gone but very much not forgotten”. - Unknown

 “Gone but not forgotten” is one of those phrases we all know and may instinctively reach for in the sad time around the death of someone close to us. Short and sweet, it speaks volumes of the importance we place on memories of those dear to us.

23. “You achieved what many people do not in their lives, you are unforgettable”. - Unknown

Everyone’s life - and death - is unique. To the people who knew them best, everyone is unforgettable. 

24. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

American author Maya Angelou captures the essence of those who have such an aura that it leaves a lasting mark on their loved ones and the power of emotions to form eternal memories.

25. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever; its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” - John Keats

A short verse from the romantic poet John Keats on the permanence of joy and beautiful memories of those we lose.

Short funeral quotes 

26.“Rest in peace, sweet dreams.”

27. “Life is short, seize the day.”

28. “Shine on you crazy diamond” - Pink Floyd

Uplifting funeral quotes

Recent years have seen more people choosing alternative funeral services and celebrations of life to mark the passing of their loved ones. It is also common for people to make their wishes known that they would like their funeral to be marked not by sombre sadness, but with a more positive and forward-looking atmosphere.

The following uplifting verses are well suited as quotes to use on the day of the funeral or as messages of condolence. They are respectful and emotive, yet speak of better times ahead and diminish the stark finality of death by giving thanks for the lives of those special people we have loved and lost.

29. “I hold it true, whate'er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” -  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A quote that is hugely popular when an uplifting funeral quote is needed in the UK. It is taken from the poem ‘In Memoriam A. H. H.’ which is an elegy the romantic poet Tennyson wrote mourning the death of a close friend. These lines have been shortened and rephrased all over the world.

30. “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” - Helen Keller

A reflective and spiritual sentiment that could bring great comfort to those who have lost someone close to them and are struggling through grief. - Unknown

31. “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” - Dylan Thomas

This snippet from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ speaks of resilience, strength and fearlessness. An excellent funeral quote for somebody with a bold spirit who remained determined and young at heart until the end. 

32. “Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.” - Mary Elizabeth Frye

The poem ‘Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep’ is a constant fixture on funeral order of service cards across the UK. This one line from it sums up the message of transfiguration and eternal life.

33. “As for the dead, Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will (all) be returned.” - from the Quran, Surah Al-An’am, 6:36

People looking for Muslim quotes for funerals in the UK might choose this common passage from the Quran which gives comfort in the belief that those who die are returning to Allah.

34. “The game is over. I'm both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” - Sherlock Holmes, from the BBC TV series, ‘Sherlock’

35. “It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” - John Steinbeck

36. “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.”- Emily Dickinson

The power of this short funeral quote from the work of American poet Emily Dickinson comes from its simplicity. We will never forget those who we loved; love never dies.  

37. “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others.” - Thucydides

38. “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” - A. A. Milne

Another passage from ‘Winnie the Pooh’ that gives courage and strength to those mourning the loss of a loved one. It’s an uplifting quote to use at a funeral, but heavy in its emotional weight.

39. “I can’t think of a more wonderful thanksgiving for the life I have had than that everyone should be jolly at my funeral.” - Admiral Lord Mountbatten

Funeral quotes for a friend

The loss of a close friend can be as devastating as losing a family member, such is the bond of friendship. We share so much of our lives with our friends that their passing can be hard to come to terms with - and their loss so difficult to put into words. 

The following funeral quotes for a friend are taken from poetry, well-known sayings, popular songs and literature. You could think of other pieces that meant a lot to you and a friend and look for inspiration there.

40. “It’s hard to believe you’re gone, friend. The world seems quieter today, but I know your energy and light will never die”.

41. “It's been a long day without you, my friend / And I'll tell you all about it when I see you again.” - Wiz Khalifa / Charlie Puth

This quote from the song ‘See You Again’ has become very popular at funerals, especially for younger people in the UK. It was written in tribute to the ‘Fast and the Furious’ actor, Paul Walker who died in a car crash in 2013.

42. “The bond between friends cannot be broken by chance; no interval of time or space can destroy it. Not even death itself can part true friends.” - John Cassian, Theologian

43. “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” - Unknown

44. “You just call out my name / And you know, wherever I am / I'll come running / To see you again.” Carole King/ James Taylor

A line from the classic song, ‘You Got a Friend’, written by Carole King and famously performed by American singer songwriter James Taylor.

45. “Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.” - Henry Scott Holland

Henry Scott Holland was a prominent theologian and poet, and this quote from ‘Death is Nothing at all’ is one of the most common elegies.

Funny quotes for a funeral

The words ‘funny’ and ‘funeral’ may not naturally sit alongside each other in our vocabulary, yet humour has always been a way of dealing with serious, often devastating situations. A joke or a few lighthearted words can often relax and comfort people, breaking the sadness with laughter.

Some people leave specific wishes for a humorous and upbeat funeral, seeing it as their last chance to make their family and friends smile. It’s important to honour the wishes of the departed and their family, balancing humour and respect.

46. “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” - George Bernard Shaw

This quote from the author George Bernard Shaw sums up the need for humour around death and bereavement in some situations. A person’s humour and wit does not die along with their body - and life does not lose its sense of humour in the presence of death.

47. “If any of you cry at my funeral, I'll never speak to you again!” - Stan Laurel

A short and funny quote that could be used at the funeral of somebody who loved vintage comedies like Laurel and Hardy.

48. “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” - George Best

Good for a gregarious person who lived life to the max, if a little cliché these days. We all know a bon viveur whom this quote from the British footballing legend George Best could apply to.

49. “Xxxxx never took life too seriously. They always said: "No one gets out alive anyway.”

50. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” - Oscar Wilde

A typically irreverent quote from Oscar Wilde and best used wisely, but will raise a smile with the right group of people. Maybe best for a celebration of life or a more informal event than a solemn funeral.

More articles

Our reviews

We are proud to help create memorable moments for our customers, here is what they have to say..