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How to be a Pallbearer

Being asked to be a pallbearer at a funeral is considered to be a great honour for most people, as this involvement at the celebration of a person’s life, and their final goodbye, is representative of the relationship. It can, understandably, be a daunting task for some people, so – to put minds at rest – we have put together this quick guide covering what might be expected of you as a pallbearer.

What Pallbearers Wear

Unless otherwise requested, funeral guests should wear conservative, smart clothing in dark colours. The colour black is traditionally worn as it has long been associated with mourning. Because of the prominent role a pallbearer has, it’s important that their clothing is particularly smart. A dark suit or dress is considered widely appropriate.

Transport for Pallbearers

Depending on their relationship with the deceased, a pallbearer might be part of the funeral procession. This is not always the case, however, and sometimes a pallbearer will need to make their own way to the venue.

How to Carry a Coffin

On the day, the funeral director will be there to instruct you on the proper way to lift and carry a coffin. In the UK, conventionally the coffin is carried by four or six pallbearers on their shoulders; however it can also be carried using the handles if preferred. Tips on how to carry a coffin include:

  • Arrange pallbearers in pairs according to height – with shorter people at the front
  • Make sure the route is completely clear
  • Have people at either end of the coffin to help stabilise it before moving
  • Keep the coffin close to your body
  • Make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes (no heels and non-slip)
  • Keep a good posture – do not stoop or squat
  • Make sure you keep your head up so you properly see your way

Guidance on the Day

Pallbearers can rest assured that they will be fully supported by the funeral director on the day of the funeral. They will be on hand to make sure the coffin is properly lifted, and to make sure that you all know what is expected of you and when.

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To a local crematorium or cemetery. terms apply, third party costs are not included and need to be added to the cost below. Local crematorium prices can be found on our funeral costs tab and can be added to the below cost

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How to be a Pallbearer

Has Someone Passed Away?

We understand at this difficult time you need someone to guide you through it all. We’re on hand to help after someone you love dies.

Arranging a Funeral

We’ll talk you through the process and what’s involved, so that you can make the right decision both for you and your loved ones.

Pre-Paid Funeral Agreement

We’re here to help if you want to make sure your funeral is both planned and paid for in advance.

Funeral Cost Calculator

Try our funeral cost calculator to see how we can meet your needs

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A Few Kind Words...

“Thank you so much for the care you took of mum and help and kindness you showed us making a very sad time so much easier to bear. With very best wishes and a very big thank you.”

Claire, David & Pia Stevens

“I would like to say a huge thank you to both Carina at Alan Greenwood and Sons in Frimley and the Celebrant. When my mother-in-law passed, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing other than needing to contact a funeral directors. After calling, Carina invited us into the Frimley branch for an informal chat and made us feel at ease straight away. She talked us through every step whilst being compassionate, caring and professional during the whole process. It was a difficult time that was made so much easier by the way Carina and Maria handled everything. When the Celebrant contacted us we were unsure of what we wanted for the service, with his knowledge and understanding he helped us to put together a service that was both relaxed, professional and perfectly suited to us. Thank you to the whole team!”

Sarah

“Thank you so much for the care, support, compassion and understanding you showed with helping Chris and us to plan his funeral. You made a very difficult time for us more bearable for which we are very grateful. Thank you also for enabling all Chris’s plans to come to fruition. His ‘send-off’ was exactly what he wanted. Malcolm did a brilliant job too. Thank you, Jane, With love and sincere, thank you.”

Kathy, Samantha, Rosie and all the Sayer Family

“Dear David and Hannah,
Just a quick note to say thank you so much for all your help and support over the last month or so.
The funeral was just as it should have been.
Your staff were lovely and the day went without a hitch.”

Michele & Caroline

“Thank you for all your kind attention during the funeral of my husband John on the 24th May. The arrangements were so efficiently and sympathetically handled that it lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. I enclose a cheque in favour of the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of my beloved John.”

Catherine Waterman

“I just wanted to drop you a line to say a massive thank you for everything you have done over the last two weeks. When I walked into Alan Greenwood’s on the 5th November I didn’t know where or how I was going to organise my lovely Mum’s funeral and the thought of it horrified me, you made a daunting job so much easier and were there to guide me all the way until the day of the funeral.”

I can’t thank you enough for your kind words, thoughts and help during this very difficult time. Losing someone as precious as mum is very hard but you helped so much. Thank you for everything you have done for mum, myself and my family.”

Sue, Mundy, Luke and Faye

“We just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you did for us. You certainly made a very emotional and difficult time so much easier to bear. We are so grateful for the support you gave us and your gentle guidance along the way. Everything was perfect thanks to you and we would highly recommend you to all. With very best wishes.”

Family of Stanley Stearman

“To all that it concerns, thank you seems hardly enough for making our Pops (William Hadaway) day very special with love and dignity from the beginning to the end you all made the day very special as well as his wishes you were there for all the family and made it a bit easier for us all to handle, couldn’t have wished for anything more. Many thanks again.”

Mark Hadaway & family

“Dear John,

Thank you for the wonderful service, support and help you offered me and the way you looked after my partner Bob, after he passed away.

From the professionalism and courtesy your team showed on that most traumatic moment – taking Bob from our house – to your kindness, and surefooted advice, the recommendation of the Celebrant, and then your kindness in coming to the cremation as well.

It’s been the hardest month or so of my life and yet I was so pleased with how the service went, the wonderful order of service you arranged and helped me with and of course the music as well. Throughout it all you treated me with respect, dignity and gave me such helpful advice. I’m not sure I would have managed well without that. Even more, I can now look back and reflect that the day went well and represented my partner and our love so well.

I think it’s important to thank people when they have done such a great job.”

Douglas

“I cannot believe that a month has passed since we first met, the day after Brian died. Within a short time of our encounter, I know that an occasion I had always dreaded would be transformed into a positive, memorable occasion – and so it was!

Your warm and practical attitude, as well as highly professional advice, immediately instils confidence. Every detail of the proceedings is meticulously explained and I felt completely relaxed. Thank you Jess for making everything work so well. You are a remarkable lady with a definite vocation and I wish you all the very best for the future. I felt I found a real, new friend, just when I needed it most.”

Irene

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