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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?

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.

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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.

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A Few Kind Words...

“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

“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

“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 Donna,

Just a little something to say thank you very much for all of your kind support during a very difficult time.

You really went above and beyond to help us and it was truly appreciated.

Thank you for helping us organise such a personal and fitting service for Margaret and everything else that you did for us.”

Bill, Sandra, Vicki and Family

Dear Cindy,

I just wanted to say thank you for yesterday and please thank all the gentlemen who helped us. Everything ran very smoothly and they were excellent.

I was also very happy with the service booklet and photographs.

Lyla

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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