Memorial Service

The Role of the Pallbearer

It will be necessary to have several people ready to carry the casket. This is the job of the pallbearers. How many pallbearers are used will...


A pallbearer plays an important role in many funeral services. As you plan an upcoming service and work out the various details, you’ll need to figure out if you need pallbearers, and if so, who they will be. We’d like to offer some insight into this role in the post below, so you can sort this piece of the puzzle out sooner rather than later.

What is a Pallbearer?

When there is to be a burial as part of a funeral proceeding, as opposed to a funeral for an individual who has been cremated – it will be necessary to have several people ready to carry the casket. This is the job of the pallbearers. How many pallbearers are used will vary slightly from service to service, but usually at least four are required, and perhaps as many as six or eight will be used. As the casket can be quite heavy, those who serve as a pallbearer should be physically capable of lifting their share of the weight while remaining balanced and walking to the appropriate spot.

Traditionally, the role of pallbearer is given to individuals who played a particularly important role in the life of the deceased. If you are organizing the service and need to reach out to family members and friends to ask about serving as a pallbearer, remember that not everyone will be comfortable with this job. This can be a difficult role during an emotional time, so be sure to ask respectfully and make it clear that it is okay to say no. It’s a good idea to work on assembling a list of pallbearers in advance so you can be sure to find enough people who are comfortable filling this role.

The Role of Honorary Pallbearer

In addition to the active pallbearers that you have selected for the service, you may also want to name one or more honorary pallbearers for the occasion. What is an honorary pallbearer? This is someone who is designated as a pallbearer because they played an important role in the life of the deceased, however, they don’t play a role in carrying the casket or any other duties. An example of when you would use this title is for an individual who is not physically capable of being an active pallbearer, yet they deserve the designation because of their close connection to the deceased.

Let Us Handle the Details

For someone planning a funeral for the first time, it can be surprising to find out just how many details need to come together in this process. If you are struggling to get everything planned out just right, or if you would simply like some help so you can focus your energy on grieving your loss, Memoria is the right place to turn. Our friendly and understanding team will help you at each step along the way, culminating in a beautiful and meaningful service that fits within your budget. Get started for free today.