Although serving as a pallbearer is considered an honor by many, it is also important for surviving family members - specifically those arranging the funeral - to show their appreciation for the services these individuals provide. In some services, family members may fill this role if necessary, but most will ask close friends or congregation members to serve as active or honorary pallbearers. It is likely that those fulfilling this role may find the experience emotional, and it is important to respect this response.
Providing a gift is a great way to say "thank you" and allow pallbearers to commemorate their own experience in the service. Some ideas for pallbearer gifts include:
Framed Photographs of the Deceased
Individuals may select a uniform photograph placed in a nice silver frame to give to all pallbearers, as a way for them to capture the memory of their deceased loved one. If possible, some may choose to personalize each gift by providing each pallbearer with a unique framed photo that captures his or her relationship with the deceased.
Customized Tokens of Appreciation
Those who want to do something special for the pallbearers' service may choose to select a customized gift for each individual. Apart from photographs, these tokens of appreciation may include simple jewelry pieces, pressed flowers from the funeral or an inscribed memorial plaque. Some may even choose to gift something of the deceased that correlates to his or her relationship with the pallbearer, such as a book or music album.
Thank You Notes
Although it is customary for pallbearers to send thank you notes to the surviving members of the family, those planning the funeral can also consider writing a message to honor the service of these individuals. Thank you notes can be brief and only need to express gratitude for support and service during the funeral.
There is no standard for pallbearer gifts, but those who opt to provide them should make sure that the gesture is meaningful and honors the service - even if just a small token of gratitude.