A pallbearer is an important person in that they have been selected to carry the deceased to their final resting place. Find out why pallbearers should arrive early to funerals in order to get everything organized with help from a licensed funeral director and embalmer in this free video on funeral planning.
Our topic for this morning is how to be a pallbearer at a funeral. Being a pallbearer at a funeral is an occasion that few of us or that you will have happen to you very few times probably in a life time. When a family calls on you to be a pallbearer for someone that they love it is a very special time for them but it is also a very special time for you. You've been selected as an important person in this person that has died's life, therefore they have asked you to do this final thing for this individual and be a pallbearer or to carry their casket to the grave or to the cemetery or to the grave after the funeral service. So being a pallbearer is a very important thing. What are your responsibilities for being a pallbearer? Many times the main thing is that you need to arrive at the funeral service or the church or wherever the funeral service is going to be held at least 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time. They may want to line your car up to go to the cemetery. They also may want to pin a boutonniere or some type of marker that would identify you as a pallbearer, pin that to your lapel. Many times I have had funerals in the last few years where there were ladies and used to that was not the case but there were lady pallbearers and it works the same whether it is a lady or a man being the pallbearer. So you want to get there a little ahead of time to find out what you need to do and how they want you to do this. Usually the funeral director once you have been marked or pinned with a boutonniere will give you instructions on when the pallbearers will gather, when he will take you into the chapel and seat you for the funeral service, when and what you are supposed to do during the funeral service, which usually is nothing more than just sitting on a particular row in the chapel and remaining there until the service is complete. The funeral director then will come in and instruct you to go to a certain door of the building and they will roll the casket up to where the pallbearers are gathered. Once the casket arrives to where you are gathered then the handles on the casket will be lifted and each pallbearer will take hold of that handle, pick the casket up off of the cart which we call a church truck or a vier, which is carrying the casket, you will pick the casket up and carry the casket from the church or chapel to the hearse or once you get to the cemetery you will carry the casket from the hearse then over to the grave site. Once you arrive at the grave site the funeral director will instruct the pallbearers at the grave site how to place the casket on the lowering device at the cemetery so it can be lowered into the grave.