Tips for the Pallbearer at a Funeral

Picture of a pallbearer man at a funeral

It is an honour to be asked to be a pallbearer, and anyone in the position will feel a sense of duty and responsibility. Of course it is a very sad situation, and carrying the coffin of a close relative or friend can be extremely difficult, but you have a duty to do the job well. If the close family of the deceased have selected you as a pallbearer, it shows they trust you and you were very important to the person who has passed away.

Pallbearers carry the deceased to their final resting place, and typically between six to eight people are chosen. They take the body from one location to another – usually from the funeral home to the hearse, and/or the hearse to the church. If you are asked to be a pallbearer, you should handle the role with dignity and respect and follow some simple etiquette tips.

What should a Pallbearer wear?

Of course, black or dark colours are usually preferred for the sombre occasion, however sometimes the family of the deceased will request a certain dress code. They may ask for a favourite colour to be worn, for example. The important thing is to look smart, so a suit is usually preferred to show respect. Also consider your choice of footwear – you will be lifting the coffin and walking for quite some time so women shouldn’t wear high heels and all pallbearers should have suitable, smart shoes.

Why the Pallbearer should arrive early?

Always aim to arrive early for the funeral, as you will probably need to have a meeting with the funeral directors. All pallbearers need to follow instructions and make sure they are prepared and know what to expect.

Control your grief

Even though it is exceptionally difficult, pallbearers are expected to carry the coffin without showing too much emotion. An emotional outpouring can be distracting and difficult to watch, and will also make carrying the casket even harder. If you think you might find it too distressing, then politely turn down the role. You can also turn down the position of pallbearer if you don’t think you are physically fit enough to carry the coffin.

controlling your emotion at a funeral

Help the host

At a funeral, people look to the pallbearers as people of authority, and as part of the service people may look to you for direction. Speak with the close family of the deceased before the funeral and ask if there are any tasks you can help with, such as accepting flowers or giving out the address of the wake. It can be overwhelming for the bereaved to handle speaking to all of the guests, so thank everyone for coming on their behalf.

Being a pallbearer is a challenge emotionally and physically, but it is also a huge honour to be considered by the family of the person who has passed away.


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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service

What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family

Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.


Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.