Do Women Serve as Pallbearers at a Funeral?

By: Greg Hurd
Thursday, October 5, 2017

One question we receive on a regular basis is whether or not women are traditionally allowed to serve as pallbearers during a funeral service. The answer here is that they absolutely are and the Church has put no restrictions on the ability of women to take the place of men, at least nowadays. While we do recommend that women serve as pallbearers if they choose to do so, there are a number of practical considerations to keep in mind.

Practical Considerations

The first hurdle to consider when choosing pallbearers is whether or not they’re able to take the weight of the casket. Caskets can be quite heavy, depending on the materials and size, with some weighing upwards of 300 pounds. While this weight is distributed evenly, it can still be a little much for children or anyone else who isn’t up for it. We feel that we should mention that this doesn’t specifically rule out women, with many men being unable to take the weight and many women having no issue, but is a general consideration that’s worth making ahead of time. 

Traditional Values

Pallbearers are usually chosen because they are close, or related, to the deceased and would like to pay their respects. Family members are usually first in line, with those chosen traditionally being men. We feel, however, that any woman should speak up if she wants to be a pallbearer, as many traditions, such as this one, are now being reconsidered by the Church and its  adherents as a whole.

Your Service, Your Choice

The recommended number of pallbearers is usually anywhere between 4 and 8 people. This is all up to your own personal preference, however, with more welcome if you so choose. Many funerals don’t feature more than a few women as pallbearers, but you should feel free to do what feels best for you, as Church doctrine doesn’t specifically touch on the subject,
meaning you’re in the cl\ear. 

If you have any questions for us here at Hurd Funeral Home with regard to pallbearers or any other aspect of your funeral service, we have all the answers you need. Our friendly and attentive staff are always willing to lend a helping hand and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


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