How to be a Great Pallbearer

So you have been asked to be a pallbearer. What this means is you are a respected close friend or family member, this is a meaningful role and should be
handled with care and preparation.
  1. Check with the family about a dress code or theme. If there isn't one we suggest the following. Start with a white colored shirt with a pocket or a jacket with a pocket. This will help facilitate pinning on a boutonniere, it's a nice touch it also helps signify your role as a pallbearer. A suit is quite traditional and we suggest something dark in color like navy blue, dark grey, or of course black. Don't forget the belt, socks and dress shoes.
  2. When arranging the pallbearers it's essential to line up according to height and lifting ability. This helps evenly distribute the weight throughout the group. Utilize your strongest arm and always remember your place in the group.
  3. When arriving at the cemetery assemble behind the hurst or a coach and await further direction from your funeral director on proceeding out to the grave site safety.
  • The average casket is approximately 200 pounds in addition to the weight of the deceased. You can expect to be carrying around 60 to 80 pounds with one arm. This is where proper footwear comes in handy. It is recommended to have closed toed shoes as you will encounter difficult terrain, and yes that goes for the ladies as well.
  • Pay close attention to funeral director instructions. If there are no instructions remember you have this handy guide.
  • Now once you approach the gravesite be careful as there's a hole there. Looks can be deceiving however sometimes that hole is covered with astroturf. Ensure you have a sound footing.
  • There will be a casket lowering device which will hold the casket in place above the grave. This is where you and the other pallbearers will place the casket.
  • Now that the casket is in place, everyone will step aside and line up shoulder to shoulder unless otherwise instructed by the funeral director.
  • Once the committal service is complete you may be asked to proceed forward single file and place your boutonniere on top of the casket.
  • And there you have it, you're ready to be an exceptional pallbearer. Keep in mind these are basic guidelines and each funeral and family is unique.

    1 comment

    • Good information. Thank you.

      Pat Mangum

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published