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Choosing Pallbearers and Ushers
Pallbearers carry or accompany the casket during a funeral
service. The family of the honoree usually selects six people to
serve in this capacity. Close friends, business associates, and
immediate family members can serve as pallbearers. Though
traditionally pallbearers have been men, women are also being asked
to serve. It is considered a great honor. Pallbearers accompany the
casket in and out of the church, temple, or place of worship.
An honorary pallbearer is a good friend of the honoree who may
no longer be able to perform the task of lifting and carrying a
casket. Because they held a special place in the life of the
honoree, they hold a special place in the funeral ceremony.
The funeral home may also provide pallbearers, or help with the
handling and carrying of the casket.
Ushers help seat guests at a funeral service. They direct people
to their seats, filling the front row first (remember, the very
front seats or pews on the right side are reserved and marked for
the family; the left for the honorary pallbearers and ushers).
Ushers are usually friends or relatives of the honoree; nephews
and nieces; godchildren; even office colleagues. For someone who
held a political office, interns could usher. For a judge, law
clerks. For a physician, their medical residents.
It is suggested you ask family and friends ahead of time (either
while they are visiting or with a phone call) to serve as a
pallbearer or usher.