[LMB] Pallbearers

Carol Cooper carolcooper at shaw.ca
Fri Jan 7 01:50:39 GMT 2011

Howard Brazee wrote
> On Jan 6, 2011, at 3:02 PM, Carol Cooper wrote:
> > Peter Granzeau wrote
> >>> http://www.godfreydykes.info/ceremonial_funeral_of_lord_louis.htm
> >>>
> >>> The actual bearers were drawn from the Navy (Mountbatten having had a
> >> naval career himself) but I remember that Princes William and Harry
> both
> >> took turns among the ceremonial guard during the lying in state.
> >>
> >> Note that the coffin was borne feet first.
> >>
> > You mean there are places where it isn't?  I thought that was universal.
> > Carol
> I guess with old fashioned coffins, we could see which end was the head.
> Is there some meaning that people ascribe to the direction the coffin is
> pointing?
> (I will never understand the psychology of how society decides to treat
> corpses).

There's an old, old superstition that if you don't want a spirit to come
back and haunt a house they shouldn't be able to look back at it as they're
carried out - hence they should be facing away from the house as the coffin
is carried away.

I doubt many people believe in the superstition any more, but it's become an
engrained custom after hundreds of years of observing it.

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