Bier

Bier

[beer]

A bier is a stand on which a corpse, or coffin containing a corpse, is placed to lie in state or to be carried to the grave.

In Christian burial, the bier is often set up in the center of the nave with candles placed around it, and there it remains during the funeral.

The bier is a flat frame, traditionally wooden but sometimes made of other materials. In antiquity it was often simply a wooden board on which the dead was placed, covered with a shroud. In modern times, however, the corpse is almost never carried on the bier without being first placed in a coffin, though the coffin is sometimes kept open.

A bier is often draped with cloth, to add to the dignity of the funeral service. The modern funeral industry uses a collapsible aluminum bier on wheels, known as a "church truck" to more conveniently move the coffin in and out of the church or funeral home for services.

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