Why Do Funeral Directors Walk In Front Of The Hearse?⁠

Many of the funeral traditions we see today actually date back to the Victorian era⁠, with Queen Victoria’s public mourning of her husband, Prince Albert, having an influence on how we mourned our loved ones.⁠

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Walking in front of the hearse (Paiging Away) most likely stems from⁠ this era too, when horses and carriages were the predominate method of transport.⁠

The funeral director would lead the procession at walking pace from the house of the deceased, with others on foot following the hearse. They would walk along main roads leading out of town to the cemetery. Sometimes a detour was made through important areas in order to achieve a maximum display. ⁠

Once the procession was out of town, everyone on foot climbed on to the coaches, and the procession was led at a brisk trot.⁠

Many funeral directors still follow the tradition of Paiging Away, however, only for a short distance. This is a mark of respect to the deceased and also gives following cars an opportunity to join the cortege⁠.⁠

If you need help arranging a funeral, please get in touch with your local funeral home and our friendly team will guide you through the process.

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