If you have been asked to be a pallbearer for a loved one’s funeral you may be a little nervous as you are unsure of what all that entails. However, as this is a huge honor you want to be there and do what you can for the grieving family. As directors of funeral homes in Aurora, CO. We understand this task can be a little dusting, and that’s why today we are going to cover what a pallbearer is as well as their roles and responsibilities.
What is a Pallbearer?
Most people have heard of pallbearers but are not sure exactly what their role is. A pallbearer’s main role is to assist with the carrying and placement of the casket during the funeral services as well as the gravesite.
How Many Pallbearers Are There?
There are typically six to eight pallbearers depending on the size of the casket. There may also be “honorable” pallbearers that do not actually help carry the casket but walk alongside it. The exact number of pallbearers is entirely up to the family.
Carrying the Casket
Each pallbearer will take their place next to the casket and assist in lifting and carrying it to its destination. While it is more normal to see men act as pallbearers, it is not uncommon for women to also take part. There are also sometimes honorable pallbearers who walk alongside the casket as they may be too weak due to age or illness to take part in the carrying.
What Are the Additional Duties of a Pallbearer?
As stated, the pallbearer’s main role is to carry the casket. This means that the pallbearers will gather at the funeral home and wait for the family to say their last goodbyes. The pallbearers will then carry the casket and place it in the hearse to be taken to the funeral location. There, the pallbearers will assist the funeral home directors in taking the casket out of the hearse.
When the funeral begins the pallbearers will carry the casket into the location and place it in the front of the room. When the service is over they will then place the casket back into the hearse to be transported to the gravesite. Typically the pallbearers will be in a vehicle behind the hearse and follow it to the cemetery. There they will remove the casket from the hearse and place it at the graveside for the service.
Proper Attire for Pallbearers
A pallbearer should look respectful and dress appropriately. For men, this would typically mean a dark suit or black or another dark color. Shoes should also be nice and dressy. However, while style should be a big consideration when it comes to shoes, so should comfortability as they may have to walk for a long distance.
Being asked to be a pallbearer is a very big honor yet can be intimidating and leave you feeling anxious if you have not been one before. As directors of funeral homes in Aurora, CO. we want you to know that this is entirely common. We hope that today’s article gave you a little insight into this position and the role they play in the funeral. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us anytime.