Do Women Serve as Pall Bearers at a Funeral?

By: Myles O'Riordan
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

At Wagg Funeral Home, we specialise in providing a wide array of services for the funeral of your loved ones. From the start to the finish, you can expect that we will be there to handle everything and to make this difficult time a lot easier for you to bear. Among others, we will take care of coordinating with the pallbearers for the funeral service. Just let us know their names and we will let them know what to do.

More than just choosing who the pallbearers will be for a funeral service, there is also one thing that many people are curious about – can women serve as pallbearers? In most instances, you can see only men carrying the casket. Keep on reading, and we will provide you with insights about this question.


Who Should Serve as Pallbearers?

Traditionally, men are seen as pallbearers. But, to answer the question in the title, yes,  women do the job as well. This actually depends on the discretion of the family members, or in some instances, based on who will volunteer for the duty.


Why is it that most pallbearers you see during a funeral service are men? Well, the reason for this is basically because of the weight of the casket. It may seem sexist, but the truth is that men will actually really find it easier to carry heavier loads. The casket can weigh up to 300 pounds, including the body of the deceased. It can be heavy. It can also be challenging, especially when in a cemetery with uneven grounds. In some instances, the casket will even have to be lifted all the way to the shoulders. This is perhaps the only reason why most pallbearers are men. If women can do the duty, on the other hand, there should be no problem.


Choosing Pallbearers

Traditionally, pallbearers in the funeral service are not members of the family. More often than not, they will include workmates, colleagues from work, neighbours, or church mates, among others. In recent years, however, there are some family members who are also acting as pallbearers. There should be six pallbearers as traditionally, there are six handles in a casket. Make sure that they will be strong enough to handle the weight of the casket and not too emotional to not perform their duty. For women or for anyone who is not physically capable of lifting the casket, they can act as honorary pallbearer and walk in front or at the back of the casket.


Do you have other concerns about the fundamentals of funeral service? If there is anything else that you would like to know, feel free to get in touch with us at Wagg Funeral Home, and we will be glad to extend the necessary assistance. 

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