Bearing the Pall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A pallbearer is a person who helps carry the casket of a deceased person from a religious service or viewing to their final resting place, or to and from the hearse which does so.

A pall is the heavy cloth that is draped over a coffin; by metonymy the term pallbearer is used to signify someone who bears the coffin which the pall covers.

Some traditions distinguish between these two roles, with pallbearer being an honorary position, while casketbearers do the actual heavy lifting and carrying.

Pallbearers were usually associated in an intimate manner (such as brother, uncle, father, or husband – pallbearers are not always male, but male pallbearers are the most common) with the deceased before their death, though this is not always the case.

On Friday, I served as a pallbearer for Anna Beatrice Pitman, the wife of Chester Pitman.

She was the mother of Kimmy Pitman, Brenda Mink, Beverly Sandlin, and Dottie Whitaker; the grandmother of Betsy Sandlin, Troy Sandlin Jr., Kimberly Canada, Judy Mink, Kenny Whitaker, and Adam, Alex, and Nicholas Hawk. She had seven great-grandchildren at the time of her death.

Her death was a shock, and the aftermath will be felt for some time.

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