Being asked to serve as a pallbearer during the burial services of a loved one is a great honor. However, if you’ve never participated in a funeral before, you may have some uncertainties about what will be expected. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you complete the task with grace.

3 Etiquette Tips for Pallbearers

1. Dress for the Occasion

Unless told otherwise, pallbearers should dress conservatively. For men, a classic black or navy suit and tie exude professionalism and respect. For women, a dark pantsuit or black dress are good options--just ensure the length and cut are appropriate for the occasion. It’s also a good idea to assess your footwear. If your dress shoes or heels cause you to slide or feel unsteady, consider an alternative.

2. Arrive on Time

burial servicesWhen asked to be a pallbearer, you’ll likely receive a call time for your arrival (usually a little earlier than other guests). On the day of the burial services, give yourself plenty of time to get ready and travel to the funeral to ensure you make it on time. Once you arrive, look for the funeral director, who’ll give you instructions on where to sit and other details on your responsibilities for the service.

3. Be Mindful of the Environment

Most importantly, remember the gravity of the occasion. While carrying the casket during burial services, avoid chatting with your fellow pallbearers out of respect for the deceased. If you begin to feel overwhelmed or overcome by emotion in the moment, consider the honor that has been bestowed on you. Instead of thinking of your own grief, focus on the meaningful opportunity to carry your loved one to their final resting place.

Losing a loved one is never easy, but the staff at Whitley’s Funeral Home in Kannapolis, NC, can make the process as straightforward as possible. Serving families in Rowan and Cabarrus Counties, this full-service funeral home was founded in 1913 as a furniture store specializing in caskets. Since then, the family-owned and -operated company has shifted their offerings to focus on funeral planning, memorial services, and more. Their caring funeral directors are always on hand to offer advice and support, ensuring your loved one’s burial services best honor their life and memory. To speak to a funeral director or learn more about funeral preplanning, call (704) 933-2222. For other frequently asked questions about funeral etiquette, visit them online.