As intense or scary as the job of serving as a pallbearer seems, it’s not as overwhelming as you might think. A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral or service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.
Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place. If you were you asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s funeral, here’s everything you need to know about pallbearers in order to prepare you for the task:
- Can You Have Pallbearers at a Cremation? While pallbearers are traditionally used when the body is buried in a casket, people can choose to have pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral before a cremation. They can also carry or walk alongside the urn before or after a memorial service.
- How Heavy is a Casket? Caskets can weigh as little as 60 pounds up to 400 pounds or more depending on the type of casket and the size of the remains inside. For example, pine caskets generally weigh about 150 pounds, while mahogany can weigh up to 250. Metal caskets, on the other hand, can weigh between 160 to 200 pounds depending on the kind of metal and the metal gauge.
- What Should Pallbearers Wear? Its best for pallbearers to dress conservatively, ideally in a dark suit and tie, dress, or pantsuit. However, be sure to wear clothing that is comfortable enough for you to move and lift in. Don’t forget to wear flat or low-heeled shoes so you don’t trip while carrying the casket.
- Who Can be a Pallbearer? Pallbearers can be anyone the bereaved or deceased choose. However, they are usually close family or friends like siblings, older children or grandchildren, colleagues, or friends. And yes, women can be pallbearers even though it doesn’t happen very often.
- How Many Pallbearers are There? While there can be as many or as few as desired, there are traditionally six to eight pallbearers. If there are six, three stand on each side of the casket. If there are eight, the extra two stand on the front and back.
- What Is an Honorary Pallbearer? An honorary pallbearer is someone who will not actually carry the casket but is still recognized in some way. This title is usually used for older friends or relatives who might not be able to physically carry the casket. Sometimes people even choose to have deceased friends or family members as honorary pallbearers, as they don’t have to carry the casket or even be physically present to have the honor.
Do you have more questions about pallbearers or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to answer them. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.