Soloists: From time to time some families
have members who wish to take part by offering their talent
as a soloist. So long as the music chosen is sacred music
and has been discussed with the Priest in advance then a soloist
can be used during the reflection after holy communion. See
Choosing Hymns for a funeral
for more guidance on music liturgy for funerals.
Pallbearers: Social tradition has it that
family and friends can show their respect for the deceased
by acting as Pallbearers to carry the coffin into and out
of the Church or at the graveyard. This intimate act of offering
your physical strength to support the deceased on their final
journey is an act of deep respect. In times past only male
family or friends took part in bearing the coffin, however
in recent times femail family and friends are begining to
take part more often in this act of the deceased's final journey.
Male or femail, it is however a physically demanding act and
consideration should be given to those who are fit and able
enough. Consideration should also be given to appropriate
footware for church and graveyard surfaces in order to keep
everyone involved, safe. Your Undertaker will assist with
safely raising and lowering of the coffin and loading and
unloading from the hearse.
Cords: when the funeral involves a burial
in a cemetery, social tradion gives the opportunity to share
in the act of interment by helping to lower the coffin into
the grave by using ropes and cords. The cemetery staff take
the weight of the coffin on ropes and the cords, of which
there are usually 8, are normally each held by a person chosen
by the family. This act is less physically demanding than
being a pallbearer and often gives family members who were
not able the carry the coffin, an opportunity to participate.
Consideration should be given in advance to who the cord holders
should be and this should be clearly communicated to each
person well in advance of assembly in the graveyard.
Cards with cord numbers, usually 1 - 8 are available from
your Undertaker so that each cord holder knows when to move
forward to assist. Remember never to wrap a cord around your
hand or fingers - it should be allowed to run freely accross
the palm of the hand.