If you are using pall bearers, it is best that you approach these people prior to the funeral service. Most friends will be honoured to assist you by helping to carry the casket at the funeral. This may also be a useful way to involve members of clubs or groups that were relevant to the deceased or to include other family members.
The usual way to carry the casket in New Zealand is at ‘arms length’. The method of carrying it up on the shoulder, although common in some other countries, tends to be reserved for full military or VIP funerals. However, there is no reason why it cannot be done in this way if that is what the family chooses.
Regardless of which method is used, it is preferable for six people to be available as pall bearers.