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Can My Family Carry The Coffin?

Can My Family Carry The Coffin?

A question we are asked very often – one which we always answer in the affirmative, Yes you can.  I would always encourage family and friends to help with the carrying of the coffin, and give full and precise instructions as to how it should be done.

There is a lot to think about but have you thought about how to carry a coffin at a funeral? should you wish to.  This is not something that you do regularly and that means that you’ve probably never even considered it, therefore, when the time comes to carry a coffin, it can help to understand what it entails.  It is after all, the ultimate sign of respect for your loved one, for them to be carried by their own family and friends.

How Many People Carry A Coffin?

This will depend on the size of the coffin but in general, carrying the coffin will involve around 4 or 6 people. There is no need for pallbearers to be tall or strong because the role is not restricted to certain people, or genders….

How Heavy Is A Coffin?

One thing that does surprise many people during a funeral is the weight of the coffin when they lift it. It is not just a case of lifting the body of the deceased individual but it is also the weight of the coffin itself and that is why several people are required to help lift it. In some instances, a coffin can weigh as much as 125 kg and more.

Can Anyone Carry Coffin At A Funeral?

Most people have the ability to carry coffins as the role of pallbearer is not restricted to certain people. They don’t need to be tall, able-bodied, or strong but it is more about working together with others to hold and carry the coffin safely and respectfully.

How Do Different Height People Carry A Coffin?

Ideally, pallbearers must be similar in height as this will help to keep the coffin level. Of course, this is not always simple to put in place and so, shorter people should go at the foot end of the coffin and taller people should be at the head end.

Which Way Should a Coffin Be Carried?

It is tradition for a coffin to be carried with the feet first. This can often be identified by the way in which the coffin tapers at one end. However, there are different styles of coffins which means some aren’t as easy to identify.

Carrying a Coffin On Your Shoulders

You can lift the casket and carry it on your shoulders if required. This looks like a respectful way to carry the coffin although you will have to remember that it will put a strain on the shoulders and arms. However, it is also considered to be a safe way to carry a coffin if the ground is uneven.

Walking Slowly

When moving with the coffin, this is a time to be respectful and this is done by carrying the coffin at a slow pace. It is also safer to walk slowly we will give you instructions by telling you when to move off with your left foot, ensuring you all walk at the same pace and rhythm.


So, if this is something you want to do, please just ask….  Talk soon, Jem.


One Response

  1. I always feel it as an honour to carry the coffin, certainly take a look around so as not to mis step on that final journey.

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