Pall Bearers

Pall Bearers

The term Pall may have come in to use as early as the 15th Century when it was used to describe the robe or material covering the coffin. The Pall bearers were the individuals chosen to carry the cloth.

Typically, but not exclusively, a Pall was a white cloth carried behind the coffin by a team of bearers whilst those carrying the casket walked in front. The Pall would then be placed over the coffin whilst the service took place in either a church or at the graveside.

As funeral services evolved, it became less common to have both Pall bearers and a separate group of individuals carrying the coffin. The two duties eventually becoming combined and the practice of having a separate group of mourners carrying the Pall fell in to disuse which means that today, Pall Bearers are recognised as those carrying the coffin.

Interestingly, the use of a White Pall is associated with the colour of the robes used during baptism – thus linking the death and rebirth of the departed.

However old the tradition, the roll of Pall Bearers is very much still with us.

The family of the deceased are free to ask anyone to fulfil the roll although your Funeral Director will be sure to be able to provide personnel should the need arise.

I have attended many funerals over the years and haven’t detected any distinct trends. Some Funeral Directors will use a trolley to convey the coffin whilst it is supervised by Pall Bearers walking alongside. Others prefer the more traditional approach of carrying the coffin on the shoulders of the bearers.

Personally, I think the choice of how the coffin should be carried is one for the family. All sorts of issues will come in to play. The emotional burden of carrying the coffin being one, having enough family and friends willing to carry the coffin being another.

No one approach is right or another wrong. If the nearest and dearest of the deceased choose to bear themselves or ask their Funeral Director to perform this duty for them – it must be for them alone to decide. So, don’t feel pushed down a course of action by the pressure of traditional or the wishes of others. The choice is yours and yours alone.

Useful links:

https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/help-resources/arranging-a-funeral/funeral-guides/a-guide-to-being-a-pallbearer

http://www.goodfuneralguide.co.uk/2011/03/2662/

http://support.britishlegion.org.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/634/~/members-funerals---etiquette

The term Pall may have come in to use as early as the 15th Century when it was used to describe the robe or material covering the coffin. The Pall bearers were the individuals chosen to carry the cloth.

Typically, but not exclusively, a Pall was a white cloth carried behind the coffin by a team of bearers whilst those carrying the casket walked in front. The Pall would then be placed over the coffin whilst the service took place in either a church or at the graveside.

As funeral services evolved, it became less common to have both Pall bearers and a separate group of individuals carrying the coffin. The two duties eventually becoming combined and the practice of having a separate group of mourners carrying the Pall fell in to disuse which means that today, Pall Bearers are recognised as those carrying the coffin.

Interestingly, the use of a White Pall is associated with the colour of the robes used during baptism – thus linking the death and rebirth of the departed.

However old the tradition, the roll of Pall Bearers is very much still with us.

The family of the deceased are free to ask anyone to fulfil the roll although your Funeral Director will be sure to be able to provide personnel should the need arise.

I have attended many funerals over the years and haven’t detected any distinct trends. Some Funeral Directors will use a trolley to convey the coffin whilst it is supervised by Pall Bearers walking alongside. Others prefer the more traditional approach of carrying the coffin on the shoulders of the bearers.

Personally, I think the choice of how the coffin should be carried is one for the family. All sorts of issues will come in to play. The emotional burden of carrying the coffin being one, having enough family and friends willing to carry the coffin being another.

No one approach is right or another wrong. If the nearest and dearest of the deceased choose to bear themselves or ask their Funeral Director to perform this duty for them – it must be for them alone to decide. So, don’t feel pushed down a course of action by the pressure of traditional or the wishes of others. The choice is yours and yours alone.

Useful links:

https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/help-resources/arranging-a-funeral/funeral-guides/a-guide-to-being-a-pallbearer

http://www.goodfuneralguide.co.uk/2011/03/2662/

http://support.britishlegion.org.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/634/~/members-funerals---etiquette

 

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: Alec Sharples

Leave A Comment