What Is A Honorary Pallbearer?

Are you curious to know what is a honorary pallbearer? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a honorary pallbearer in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a honorary pallbearer?

Funerals are solemn occasions when loved ones gather to pay their final respects to the departed and offer support to grieving family members. Among the individuals who play essential roles in a funeral, pallbearers have a unique and symbolic responsibility. Within the group of pallbearers, there is a distinction known as “honorary pallbearers.” In this blog, we will explore what honorary pallbearers are, their role, and why they hold a special place in the funeral process.

What Is A Honorary Pallbearer?

Honorary pallbearers are individuals selected to participate in a funeral procession, not because they will physically carry the casket but because they hold a distinct honor or have a unique relationship with the deceased. They are chosen to serve as a symbol of respect, admiration, or special recognition for the departed individual.

The Role Of Honorary Pallbearers

  1. Symbolic Presence: Honorary pallbearers are not primarily responsible for bearing the weight of the casket, as is the case with active pallbearers. Instead, their role is symbolic, signifying their close relationship with or admiration for the deceased.
  2. Support and Tribute: Honorary pallbearers attend the funeral to offer emotional support to the grieving family and to pay tribute to the departed. Their presence serves as a gesture of respect and love.
  3. Diverse Relationships: Honorary pallbearers may include friends, mentors, colleagues, and individuals from various facets of the deceased’s life. They represent the diverse connections and impacts the deceased had on those around them.
  4. Not Necessarily Physically Carrying: While honorary pallbearers may assist with the casket, they often do not participate in the physical act of carrying it. Their presence and role are more about the emotional and symbolic aspects of the funeral.

The Significance Of Honorary Pallbearers

  1. Recognition of Influence: Honorary pallbearers are typically individuals who had a profound impact on the deceased person’s life. Their inclusion in the funeral honors the significance of these relationships and their lasting influence.
  2. A Deeper Connection: Being selected as an honorary pallbearer signifies a deep and meaningful connection with the deceased. It acknowledges the unique bond and the positive impact they had on each other’s lives.
  3. Support for the Family: The presence of honorary pallbearers offers comfort and support to the bereaved family, reminding them of the love and respect their departed loved one received from a wide range of people.
  4. Celebrating a Life Well-Lived: By including honorary pallbearers, a funeral becomes a celebration of the deceased person’s life, highlighting the positive contributions they made to the lives of others.

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Incorporating Honorary Pallbearers In A Funeral

The selection of honorary pallbearers is typically made by the family of the deceased in consultation with the funeral director or organizer. The family considers individuals who had a significant relationship with the departed and who would appreciate the honor of being recognized in this manner. The number of honorary pallbearers can vary and depends on the wishes of the family.


Honorary pallbearers hold a special role in funerals, as they symbolize the meaningful connections and influences a departed individual had on those around them. Their presence serves as a tribute to the deceased and offers support to the grieving family. In this way, they help transform a funeral into a heartfelt and memorable celebration of a life well-lived and the enduring impact of the departed on those who loved and admired them.


Do Honorary Pallbearers Have To Be At Funeral?

The main purpose for selecting honorary pallbearers is that it expresses the families feeling towards these individuals. Honorary pallbearers do not have to be in attendance at the service since the most important aspect of this designation is name recognition.

Do Honorary Pallbearers Walk Behind The Casket?

Sometimes, a wheeled car or another transportation method will be used for the casket – this is often done when those who would be the pallbearers normally are older or not physically capable, and can only serve as “honorary” pallbearers who walk behind the casket as it’s moved.

How Many Honorary Pallbearers Can You Have At A Funeral?

If any people whom you would like to have as pallbearers are not physically capable of carrying the weight of a casket, those people can be made “honorary pallbearers” and can walk in front of, beside, or behind the casket. There is no limit to the number of honorary pallbearers that you can have at your funeral.

Can A Child Be An Honorary Pallbearer?

Older children can act as honorary pallbearers or can read a selection at the funeral. They could also act as ushers at the funeral. You will find it very helpful to spend time explaining to the children what a funeral is about and what will happen.

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