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Who Carries the Coffin at a Funeral?

At a funeral, the coffin or casket can be carried either by designated pallbearers as arranged by the funeral directors, or by any of your chosen family members or friends. Find out what to expect if you have been asked to be a pallbearer with our guide below.

When the coffin needs to be carried

Pallbearers are required to carry the coffin from the hearse into the church, crematorium, or funeral service venue. Then, if the body is to be buried, they will also be asked to carry the coffin either back to the hearse or directly to the burial site depending on the distance.

Do pallbearers have to carry the coffin?

Sometimes people are asked to be a pallbearer as a reflection of their relationship with the deceased, and it might not always be necessary to help carry the coffin. Usually the coffin will be carried by four or six pallbearers, and any additional individuals will be invited to escort the coffin alongside it.

What does it mean to be a pallbearer?

Traditionally, a ‘pall’ is the piece of cloth to be draped over the coffin, and a pallbearer was someone who held the cloth before laying it down. Today, however, pallbearers are those who carry or escort the coffin.

The role of pallbearer has become a symbolic one, which displays the love and respect between them and the deceased.

In the event that those who arranged the funeral do not have appropriate people to ask, the funeral director can provide pallbearers.

Find out more about what happens on the day of a funeral, and about the burial or cremation process in particular.

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Who Carries the Coffin at a Funeral?

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A Few Kind Words...

“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

“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 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 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

“Dear Fran

I just wanted to drop you an email to thank you for all your care and support in the arrangements for my dad, John.

I know that my Mum, Valerie, was most grateful for your support and care, particularly last Friday which was a difficult day for her. Mum said to me that you went over and above in her eyes, making sure she was ok before you would let her leave.

Dad would have highly approved of the day yesterday, and that’s all we could have asked for. It really was the celebration of his life that he would have wanted.

Again, my sincerest thanks and gratitude to you all.”

Helena

“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

Dear Chloe,

We just wanted to all thank you and the rest of Alan Greenwood team for providing excellent service for organising and conducting our mother’s funeral – The day went perfectly.

Mike

“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

“Thank you for the care and support you gave to us all at the funeral of Annette Streetley, we did appreciate you kindness as we first stepped through the door at your Claygate branch and the days following. I know Tony, Rachel & Andrew were extremely grateful”

David & Betty Wakeford

“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

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