There is a lot that goes into planning a funeral. Writing the obituary, coordinating services, and choosing pallbearers are just a few of the things that you will want to consider during the process. Understanding how to choose pallbearers can help you to make the best decisions. This may feel like a situation that involves family politics, likely because it does. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you choose pallbearers.
What Does a Pallbearer Do?
First, it is important to understand what exactly a pallbearer does. This will help you to choose pallbearers that will be able to complete the task efficiently. Ultimately, the pallbearers are expected to carry the casket from the service to the hearse in order to transport the casket to the cemetery. Depending on the funeral and situation, it is also possible that the pallbearer will participate in graveside services, namely carrying the casket from the hearse to the gravesite. Due to the physical nature of their task, it is most common for men to serve as pallbearers. However, it is still possible for women to be pallbearers, too.
Types of Pallbearers
There are two types of pallbearers. These types are active and honorary. Active pallbearers are the individuals that perform the task of carrying the casket. Honorary pallbearers are those that are recognized as being important to the deceased but are not expected to carry out any tasks during the funeral. It is important to be aware of both types to help you make the best decision for the pallbearers for the funeral you are planning.
Pre-Planning a Funeral
Pre-planning your funeral can help to reduce the need for your loved ones to choose pallbearers for you. During the pre-planning process, you can list the individuals that you desire to serve as your active and honorary pallbearers. This can help to take some of the weight off of your loved ones when it comes to making these decisions.
How Many Pallbearers you Need
When you want to choose pallbearers, it will be important to know how many pallbearers you will need. Ultimately, this will depend on the number of handles that the casket has. The majority of caskets have 6 handles, 3 on each side of the casket. For these caskets, you will want 6 pallbearers. Other caskets have additional handles on the front and back of the casket. For this type of casket, you will want 8 pallbearers. You will need between 6 and 8 active pallbearers, but you can choose as many honorary pallbearers as you would like.
How to Choose Pallbearers
When you want to choose pallbearers, it will be important to ensure that you choose people that are of consequence, namely that they were important to the deceased. This often means close family members, like sons and grandsons, as well as close family friends. While this certainly is an important factor, it isn’t the only thing you should consider when choosing pallbearers. If you are concerned about someone’s ability to carry out the task but know that they were important to the deceased, you may want to name them as honorary pallbearers instead.
One of the major components of choosing a pallbearer is their ability to carry out their task. Due to this, you will want to keep physical strength in mind when making decisions. This is often why small children do not make good pallbearers, even if they were important to the deceased. This is also why adult males tend to be most commonly chosen to act as pallbearers.
All eyes are on the casket as it is carried to the hearse. This means that pallbearers will have the spotlight for those moments. It can be extremely unsettling to attendees when a pallbearer has an emotional breakdown during the process. When you choose pallbearers, you will want to consider individuals that will be able to keep their emotions in check, at least while carrying the casket.
If you have been asked to be a pallbearer, there are some expectations that you should be aware of. You will want to ensure that you dress appropriately for the funeral. In addition, it is important to ensure that you follow any instructions that are given to you. Finally, you may be expected to sit with the other pallbearers, so check with the funeral director for instructions.
At Russon Brothers Mortuary, we offer the ideal funeral services to meet all of your expectations. When you work with our team, we can provide you with the appropriate guidance to expedite the process. To learn more about how to choose pallbearers, contact our experts today!