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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

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.

How to be a Pallbearer

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.

How to be a Pallbearer

Pre-Paid Funeral Plans

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

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A Few Kind Words...

“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

“Thank you so much for the way you took care of Loui’s funeral for us. You really went the extra mile, we are really grateful for all your help with the arrangements with Louis and Mum.”

Sheila, Kenny & Family

“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

“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

“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

“As a family we cannot thank you enough for all your care and support of us on the passing of our mum – Peggy Hart on October 19th and her funeral on October 31st. As we know from the past, you do a wonderful job and all the staff are so caring and compassionate. Carol you are a rock (dare I say Star!) as you guided us through so much and helped keep us on track.

The day went off so smoothly and well. Mum looked good and would have so enjoyed her last ride in the jag! Also she would have been pleased at Alan leading the way, as Dad – Bill thought so highly of him and always spoke of him in glowing terms when he was alive and said he was a great guy to work with.

Thank you, thank you, what more can I say. I just wish you had offices in Canada so when my time comes, I know I would be in such excellent caring hands.”

Maggie & Mike Raftery

“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

“Thank you very much indeed for all your professionalism, support and guidance throughout the whole process involved in caring for my mother.

From the moment we met the staff at Holmwood Nursing Home until my collection of thank you notelets for my father to use I felt that everything was conducted in a most efficient and sensitive manner. I know that Clive spent a good deal of time with you and I was so pleased that we were able to have such a beautiful service very soon after the passing of our dear mother and wife. With thanks once again”

Jane Reg & Clive

“We would like to thank you very much for looking after Mum and for all the arrangements you made for her funeral last Thursday. Your professionalism, help and ready advice together with your sensitivity at such a difficult time was much appreciated by us all. Our best regards.”

Nigel, Colin Ian & Coraine Ferguson

“I would like to say a big thank you for everything. I had nothing to worry about, it all went so smoothly from the day of his death to the end of the funeral and in the circumstances could not have been better. Thank you so much.

I don’t have a great deal of experience in these matters, but compared to the other funeral directors I had to deal with, Greenwoods are the tops and you personally were a pleasure to deal with, you hit absolutely the right note.”

Ann Bishop

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