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A pallbearer is one of several participants who help carry the casket at a funeral. Some traditions distinguish between the roles of pallbearer and casket bearer. The former is a ceremonial position, carrying a tip of the pall or a cord attached to it. The latter do the actual heavy lifting and carrying. There may otherwise be pallbearers only in the symbolic sense if the casket is on an animal or vehicle. In Western cultures, the pallbearers are usually male family members, close friends, or colleagues of the deceased. A notable exception was the funeral of Lee Harvey Oswald, in which reporters, pressed into service to carry the coffin, outnumbered the mourners. In some Asian cultures, pallbearers are not to be members of the family but are outsiders, given a tip to perform the services of pallbearer.At times additional pallbearers, known as Honorary Pallbearers, walk either behind or directly in front of the casket in a showcase of supplemental distinction towards the deceased. This type of pallbearer is most often a gentleman in the profession of the deceased who has achieved significant merit within their position.

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