What does pallbearer mean?

The term "pallbearer" is derived from the word pall, which is a heavy cloth that is placed over a casket. The pallbearer is responsible for carrying the casket that is covered by the pall. The origin of the term can be traced back to Roman times, when soldiers wore a cape or cloak called the pallium. Over time, the term pallium was shortened to pall. In Christian traditions, a pall is used to cover the deceased during burial ceremonies.

The role of pallbearers varies depending on the country and cultural traditions. In the US and Canada, pallbearers typically carry the casket by the handles at waist height. However, in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and many countries in Asia, the coffin is often carried on the shoulders. The number of pallbearers usually ranges from 6 to 8, depending on the size and weight of the casket.