It is an honor to be asked to serve as a pallbearer. In the past, pallbearers were strong men who were not members of the immediate family. These days, pallbearers can be men or women, and not all of them necessarily help to carry the casket. If you’re asked to be a pallbearer, get the necessary details from the funeral home representative, as your specific responsibilities may vary from the following information.
The Role of the Pallbearer
In ancient times, the term “pallbearer” actually referred to the individuals who carried the hem of the pallium, or cloak, which was draped over the coffin. Today, a pallbearer is a person who helps carry the casket from the funeral service to the hearse, and then from the hearse to the gravesite. The average adult-size casket will need six to eight pallbearers. Some funeral services have honorary pallbearers, who escort the casket, but do not carry it. Honorary pallbearers are often people who were close to the decedent, but are physically unable to help carry the casket. These individuals may walk beside, in front of, or behind the casket.
The Responsibilities of Pallbearers
Pallbearers have an important role in the funeral and burial service. It’s essential to arrive at the designated location early. The funeral director or the officiant of the ceremony will provide instructions. Before the service begins, make sure you have the following information:
- Where to park
- Where to sit during the service
- When to stand up and approach the casket
- Where to grasp the casket
- How to appropriately transfer the casket into the hearse
- Where to sit or stand for the graveside service
Knowing where to park is significant because, as a pallbearer, your car will join the procession. The procession is the line of cars that follows the hearse to the gravesite. If it’s necessary to transport the casket through a town, you will not have to stop at stop signs. Continue to follow the procession straight through intersections, keeping at an even speed. Municipalities allow this for the sake of keeping the procession together, so that everyone arrives at the gravesite at the same time.
Burial plots are available in San Diego at Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary. We offer customizable funeral service and burial options, which include the use of a funeral vehicle or hearse. If you have any questions, please call (619) 701-6473.
Love and loss are two sides of the same coin. It’s perfectly normal to grieve for the loss of your loved one, even before he or she passes away. This is known as anticipatory grief. Although it isn’t talked about as much as the grief that occurs right around the time of the funeral service, anticipatory grief is just as difficult to cope with. Some people find that anticipatory grief is actually more challenging, as they feel helpless to change anything, and anxiety-ridden about how they’ll move on with life afterward.
When you watch this video, you’ll hear a grief counselor explain what you can do during this time to avoid later regrets. It’s wise to discuss your loved one’s funeral preferences, such as whether he or she prefers burial or cremation. Your loved one should also have a DNR—do not resuscitate—order notarized.
From our family to yours, Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary would like to extend our sincerest sympathies during this difficult time. We understand it’s challenging to pre-plan a funeral near San Diego after receiving a diagnosis, but you can call us at (619) 701-6473 for compassionate guidance.
Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary provides families with unique funeral and memorial ceremonies that allow them to honor and celebrate the life of their loved ones who have passed on. Greenwood’s experienced staff has developed a reputation for being caring, compassionate, and professional, and we offer a selection of personalized memorials, signature services, and veteran’s services that can enhance the memorialization experience. If you would like to learn more about Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary in San Diego, CA, read through this infographic that explores our history and heritage. Please feel free to share this information with any friends or family in need of funeral services.