Pallbearers are those people who carry or escort the casket at the funeral of a loved one. Usually pallbearers are close friends or family members of the deceased, and they can be either men or women.
Being a pallbearer is a great honor and signifies that the pallbearer had a very special relationship with the deceased. Usually there are about six to eight pallbearers in a funeral as there are eight handles--three on each side, and one each at the front and back in a casket. Depending on the design of the casket, sometimes there may only be the handles on the sides.
The responsibility of a pallbearer is to carry the casket from the venue of the funeral to the hearse or funeral coach. Then, if there is a cemetery burial after the funeral service, the pallbearers must carry the casket from the hearse to the site of burial. Moreover, if the funeral service is closed casket, the pallbearers usually bring in the casket at the start of the ceremony. However, for an open casket funeral, the casket will already be placed at the venue by the staff of the funeral home you have hired.
How to choose a pallbearer
When choosing a pallbearer, it is important to keep in mind that this is a very special and honorable responsibility which should be filled only by the people who were extremely close to the deceased. Whether it is a father, mother, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, cousin, husband, wife, or best friend, it is crucial that a pallbearer is emotionally, mentally and physically capable of carrying out the task.
If any person is unfit mentally, emotionally or physically, they can serve as an honorary pallbearer. This means that they can walk alongside the actual pallbearers without having to carry the casket.
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