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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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How to be a Pallbearer

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How to be a Pallbearer

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How to be a Pallbearer

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A Few Kind Words...

“You make an extremely difficult time easier. Dad’s service was very fitting and I was so pleased to see him dressed in his uniform and hold his had one last time, Jess you did a lovely job. Thank you so so much.”

Clare

“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

“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

“Lynn, Bruce and I thank you so much for the wonderful understanding and help you have given us over the past days.It has been a difficult time but made so much easier by your guidance. With your kindness, we feel we managed to say our goodbyes to ‘Roger’, ‘Dad’ and ‘Grandy’ – showing our love and thanks to him for looking after us so perfectly over the years.”

Pat Clark

“The family would like to thank you and the whole team at Greenwood’s for your warm and professional service. We were delighted with your attention to detail and the relaxed but respectful manner of the Attendant and Bearers on the day itself. Many of our friends commented on the ‘dignity with lightness of touch’ and said it was one of the best-organised funerals they had attended. It was certainly a very different experience from my father’s funeral twelve years ago, and we shall recommend you wholeheartedly to others.”

Carole Day and Family

“Just a wee note to say a huge thank you for your amazing support, care and friendship when helping us to arrange my dad’s funeral. Although it was such a difficult time for us as a family, you ensured that we were so well looked after & that everything went perfectly. Our tears often turned to laughter in your company & that’s because you helped us remember the good times.

Thank you for everything from the bottom of our hearts. We would also like to thank the whole team involved in helping before, during and after my dad’s funeral. You truly are amazing, showing such dignity, compassion, care and professionalism. Thank you.”

Karen, Anna & family

“Would you please pass on our thanks to the young lady who conducted the burial of Joyce Ashby last week. She was so kind to Jean my very elderly cousin especially on the ride back in the Limo taking us through Richmond Park and chatting all the way. We then went on to have a family picnic in Jean’s garden in the sunshine a lovely way to remember Joyce and the perfect day for Jean. Very many thanks from all of us in North Wales.”

Sheila, Keith & Rhoada Ashby

“How can we say thank you for all you did to make Robert (Bob’s) funeral so lovely? We felt you worked so hard ,with your company and the Church to make everything so nice. So once again thank you.”

Wendy Dennis & Brenda

“We would like to thank you for a friendly and professional service and especially Adam who made a good job of the service, and a big thanks to Jane who was a great help and showed much kindness. We would recommend your company.”

Chris & Mike Whalen

“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

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