What does a Pallbearer do?

Shutterstock.com/ Anna Luoapa

Being asked to be a pallbearer at a loved one’s funeral can be unsettling – it is a big responsibility – but being asked to play such an important role in their farewell should also be considered an honour and a privilege.

There are usually between four and six pallbearers who are responsible for carrying the coffin or casket from the hearse to the funeral venue.

If the deceased has opted for cremation, they will be carried to the crematorium and placed on a special platform called a catafalque before the service. The pallbearer then has no further role other than to mourn the loss of a loved one.

If a burial has been chosen, the pallbearers will carry the coffin from the hearse to the front of the church or chapel and place it on wooden trestles. At the end of the service, they will return the coffin to the hearse so it can be transported to the grave. At the graveside, the pallbearers will then be responsible for carefully lowering the coffin into the grave.

Choosing a pallbearer for your own funeral or that of a loved one can be a difficult task. Making the right choice can bring comfort to mourners as they see their loved one being transported to their final resting place by close family and friends.

Instructions on who should have the responsibility of pallbearer can be left in a funeral plan, which allows you to plan and pay for, your funeral in advance. This means that your family doesn’t have to make these decisions at such a difficult time, nor do they have to bear the financial responsibility for your farewell.

Of course, if you have been asked to act as a pallbearer, you can politely refuse the invitation, and the funeral director can provide pallbearers where required.If you would like more information on how a funeral plan can be used to detail your funeral wishes, contact us or call 0800 411 8683, and one of our friendly advisors will be happy to take you through the various options available.