If you’ve chosen to have a closed casket funeral for a loved one, your thoughts may have turned to selecting pallbearers. This is someone who will help carry the coffin from the funeral home to the hearse, as well as from the hearse to the gravesite. Being called to be a pallbearer is an honor and Shipman Funeral Home & Crematory in Muskogee and Wagoner, Oklahoma, wants to provide some helpful advice for things to consider when choosing people to fulfill this vital function.
1. Consider Someone Who Was Close
In most instances, a pallbearer will be someone who was close to the deceased. This could be a friend or family member. Traditionally, a funeral will have six casket bearers, and they can be either men or women. This is an excellent way to include someone in the service if they aren’t already speaking or participating in other ways.
2. Make the Decision a Family Affair
It’s always a good idea to sit down and have a discussion with other family members when choosing pallbearers. Maybe those around you have ideas about who should be asked, or maybe you want to provide a list of people you think would be fitting for this noble task. By talking to your family about this aspect of the service, you could be making the decision a lot easier on them.
3. Speak to your Chosen Pallbearers First
While filling this position is a good and respected role, it’s also one not everyone feels comfortable doing. Perhaps the person you thought would willingly take part doesn’t believe they will have the emotional capacity to go through the funeral and take on the responsibilities of a pallbearer. By talking to them first, you can make sure everyone you choose is entirely on board.
4. Know the Demands of a Pallbearer
Before you decide on who should perform this function, it’s important to understand more about their role during the funeral service. Their primary responsibility is to carry the casket from the hearse to the funeral service, as well as the burial site (when applicable) with five other people. This means that all chosen should be physically capable of supporting this weight of both deceased and the casket. If you would love to have someone be a pallbearer, but they aren’t physically able, you can designate them with an honorary position, and they can still walk beside the casket.
5. Know the Alternatives
When a loved one passes on, emotions can run high among friends and family. Rather than risk hurt feelings at the thought of being left out, look for alternatives to family and friends. Was your loved one a member of the military or a fraternal organization? If so, they may provide pallbearers on request, and in the case of the military a bugler to play “Taps” during the burial service.
Whether you are seeking advice on choosing pallbearers, or planning services or a cremation, Shipman Funeral Home & Crematory and Muskogee Cremation Services are prepared to respond to any questions or concerns you may have. They offer two convenient locations in Muskogee and Wagoner, Oklahoma, to provide the very best in funeral planning for families from Eastern Oklahoma, Western Arkansas, and Northern Texas. To learn more about the services they offer, call their Wagoner location at (918) 485-9525 or their Muskogee location at (918) 682-1700.