How to Choose Pallbearers for a Funeral

Raimond Spekking CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Funerals are times of grief and sadness, but they’re also important occasions to celebrate the life of someone you love. One way to honor your loved one is to choose pallbearers who will carry the casket out at their funeral. In this article, we’ll explain what a pallbearer is and how to choose pallbearers for a funeral. After all, you’re looking for the right people for this important role in your friend or family member’s funeral service.

What is a pallbearer?

A pallbearer is a person who carries the casket at a funeral. The name comes from the three-legged frame that traditionally holds up the coffin, called a pall. Pallbearers usually are close friends or family members of the deceased but not always.

Pallbearers are also traditionally male, although in recent years more females take up this task too. They specifically help carry a deceased person’s casket from the hearse into the church. After the service is complete they help transport the casket to the funeral resting place: a grave, family tomb or mausoleum.

How to choose the right pallbearers

Pallbearers are crucial to the success of a funeral. They should be close to the deceased and/or they family. Moreover, they should also be willing and able to take on this responsibility without complaint or difficulty. If you’re having trouble selecting pallbearers, consider asking friends or relatives. These people have usually been close with the deceased in life and they may like an opportunity to honor them. And don’t forget about asking anyone else whom you think would make an excellent choice!

Choose pallbearers who are strong enough to carry the casket

When selecting your pallbearers, remember that they need to be strong enough to carry the casket. The casket will weigh anywhere from 200 pounds to 800 pounds or more depending on the material it’s made of.

It’s important that you select people who can handle this job. After all, if they can’t lift it up, they won’t be able to carry it down a flight of stairs at a funeral home. Nor will they be able to hold the casket down a long hallway during the procession. If you have any doubt about anyone, then don’t choose them  as one of the pallbearers!

Choose close family members or friends as pallbearers

We already mention that before but it’s worth repeating. Ask yourself what sort of relationship the potential pallbearer has with the deceased. Here are some solid tips:

  • Consider asking close family members or friends to be your pallbearers.

  • You are more likely to be able to find pallbearers who know the deceased well. It’s because the have a strong relationship with the, so they’ll likely agree to this task.

  • Pallbearers who are close friends and/or family members are also more likely to be able to handle both the emotional stress of being a pallbearer and the physical stress of carrying your casket at your funeral service.

You can ask children who are old enough to be a pallbearer

You can ask children who are old enough to be a pallbearer. Generally speaking, children should be at least 8 – 12 years old. After all, you don’t want to traumatize a child that’s too young. There is a good way to determine if a child is mature and respectful enough for this important role. Keep an eye on them during their interactions with adults in the family and community. If they’re comfortable talking to adults and following direction from them, then they’re probably ready for the responsibility of being a pallbearer.

As long as the child is old and strong enough you could consider them. And if they also have a good sense of respect, they can be an excellent candidate for this role.

Consider the deceased's religion and profession

It’s smart to take the religious and professional background of the deceased into consideration. If you’re planning your funeral, try to find out the religious beliefs and preferences of the deceased. You can also ask relatives to help you with choosing pallbearers. After all, they often share th4 deceased’s views on religion and death. This will ensure that they are comfortable participating in the ceremony.

If the deceased was religious, you can consider a religious leader of your community. If not, consider other aspects of their life. For example, people with a military background may want a military funeral. That includes pallbearers from the military who served with this individual during his or her time in service (if requested). Or they may like the idea of the pallbearers wearing their uniform.

Choose respectful people that you can count on

You should also make sure that the pallbearers are comfortable with their duties, as carrying a casket is no small feat.

It’s important for pallbearers to dress in a way that honors the deceased. This can mean anything from wearing formal wear to dressing casually. It’s still important that everyone looks presentable during the funeral procession. This is just an example of how respectful the pallbearers need to be.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has helped with choosing the right pallbearers for a funeral. To sum up, pallbearers are an important part of the ceremony. It is crucial to choose people who can handle their roles with dignity and respect. When choosing pallbearers, keep in mind that they should be strong enough to carry the casket. It’s also a good idea to consider close family members or friends for this role. After all, they know the deceased well enough to feel comfortable carrying out such an important responsibility.

In case you’re actually planning ahead for your own funeral, we recommend you have a look at our Funeral Plan. This is just a small part of Myend’s end-of-life services. Curious to see for yourself? Sign up today completely free of charge!

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Myend is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, and it does not render any official legal advice. Therefore, you are hereby advised to seek your own legal counsel regarding any legal issues. Myend’s articles are meant to be taken as suggestions and therefore Myend carries no responsibility for the user’s actions.