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A pallbearer is one of several participants who help carry the casket at a funeral. They may wear white gloves in order to prevent damaging the casket and to show respect to the deceased person. Some traditions distinguish between the roles of pallbearer and casket bearer. The former is a ceremonial position, carrying a tip of the pall or a cord attached to it. The latter do the actual heavy lifting and carrying. There may otherwise be pallbearers only in the symbolic sense if the casket is on an animal or vehicle. In Western cultures , the pallbearers are usually male family members, close friends, or colleagues of the deceased. A notable exception was the funeral of Lee Harvey Oswald , in which reporters, pressed into service to carry the coffin, outnumbered the mourners. Secondly, they will also be notified on where they are able to sit during the funeral service and during then the casket would be carried.
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If you are arranging a funeral, you may wish to choose family members or close friends to be pallbearers, though you may prefer to ask your funeral director to provide their own, if they are able to do so. A pallbearer is responsible for carrying the coffin or casket of the deceased from the hearse to its final place of rest, depending on whether it is a cremation or burial service. At a cremation service , pallbearers carry the coffin or casket from the hearse into the crematorium, carefully placing it onto a stand which is known as a catafalque. Typically, there are a minimum of four pallbearers, though six can also be used depending on the weight of the coffin.