The Good Funeral Guide Blog

The right way to carry a coffin

Friday, 24 June 2011

Family and friends carry the coffin of Rex ‘The Moose’ Mossop, rugby league legend, at his funeral. In his eulogy, his son said this of him: “He was an insufferable pain in the arse sometimes but I loved him to death.”

Respected voices don’t much like this arm’s length carrying, but I do. We don’t disagree, we just think differently. You can do that in Funeralworld.

Story here.

7 comments on “The right way to carry a coffin

  1. Jonathan

    Sunday 26th June 2011 at 7:29 am

    There’s a perception of how ‘it is done’ still going on, rather than the best way to do it for the occasion. Shouldering is dignified (proper), say some; shouldering is against health and safety guidelines (risky), say others. Yet others say it looks ungainly unless it’s done by practised professionls, and the family, of all people, should be kept a good arm’s length from it.

    The other day, a funeral director’s bearers shouldered the coffin even though no-one was watching. Yet others use a rickety little fold-up trolley provided by the crematorium even in front of a full house. To my mind, the latter is like wheeling the bride into the church on a stretcher in case she slips on her white high-heels and someone gets sued for her sprained ankle, but if I were the one being sued no doubt I’d think differently.

  2. Sunday 26th June 2011 at 12:05 am

    Revolting. One of those ziggy-zaggy things, doubtless. Utterly unworthy.

  3. Saturday 25th June 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I was talking to a friend who had been to a funeral in Scotland last week. She was surprised that the coffin had been wheeled into the crematorium then “pumped” up to the height of the catafalque and pushed onto it by just 2 men. I’ll leave you to guess the FD chain, but just think of the extra profit they made on it by not paying 3 more people.

  4. Saturday 25th June 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Oh, quite so, Kingfisher. I am intent on agreeing with everyone. What tickles me is that it tends to be undertakers who feel strongly and even inflexibly about shouldering. Let consumers decide.

  5. Saturday 25th June 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I’m not sure that either way is right or wrong. By saying that something is “right” are we not imposing our own ideals onto something which could or should be the family’s prerogative to choose? Another question for the arrangement form maybe?

  6. Friday 24th June 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks for dropping by, Steve. And you’re right, of course!

  7. steve martin

    Friday 24th June 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Don’t like it either shoulder is best unless too heavy to do so.

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