Who Can be a Pallbearer?

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It is important to note that pallbearer can be any close to the deceased; they are the select family members and friends. They are the ones that carry the casket. However, in most cases, because of the sheer weight of the casket it is normally men that serve as the pallbearers. Yet, we are seeing an increase in female pallbearers over the past several years.


When selecting a pallbearer it normally ranges from 6-8 people. They are normally the people closest to the deceased, such as family or friends. Traditionally it is 6 people that will help escort the casket. But in some cases, if you can’t narrow it down to six you can make it to 8 by having on at the front handle and one of the back.


It is important to choose the right people to serve as pallbearers. It is a huge honour to be select as a pallbearer because they are the ones escorting your loved one to their final journey. When you are thinking of whom to select as pallbearers, try writing down a list of people that are very close to the deceased such as close friends, adult children or siblings. When considering, your pallbearers, also think of the physical fitness side of it, the casket is extremely heavy, thus your pallbearers need to be able to support that weight.


Subsequently, once you have selected your 6-8 pallbearers, sit down with them and communicate the importance of their role to the service. It is important not only that they understand the importance of their role, but also they are also comfortable with it. Although it is an honour to be a pallbearer that does not mean that everyone would be comfortable with that. If someone is not comfortable being a pallbearer, you can always make the offer to be an honorary pallbearer. In the case of honorary pallbearers, there is no set number of people you can or cannot have.


If you have any further questions on the topic, please contact us at Thomas Gallagher Funeral Home.


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