It takes skill and care to lift a prepared body into a casket.

Funerals are sensitive,emotional occasions for the family and friends of those who have died. But even before the ceremony begins, the body must first be prepared and then lifted from the preparation table into the casket so that it may be presented at the funeral. Mortuary workers use body lifts to move the body carefully into the casket without disturbing or damaging the body.

Moving the Body

Set the body lift so that the height of the lifting straps hang at the height of the preparation table. Most body lifts are adjusted using a lever on the arm of the lift.

Adjust the height of the casket to closely match the height of the preparation table. Transferring the body into the casket will be much easier if the two surfaces are more or less equal in height. Roll the casket as near to the preparation table as possible.

Put on the gloves and secure the body lift straps around the body by gently lifting and rolling the body and then sliding the straps and fastening them snugly according to the size of the body. While most bodies are most securely cradled around the head, torso, hips and feet, you may find that the body is either top- or bottom-heavy, in which case you may need to adjust the placement of the straps.

Slowly swing the secured body from the preparation table over the casket. Do not let go of the body lift at any point. Make sure your casket is prepared, clean and ready for your body.

While still maintaining control of the body and body lift, gently lower the body until it rests in the casket. Remove the straps, smooth the garments and hair of the body and add any necessary touches before the ceremony.

Things Needed

  • ['Body lift', 'Casket', 'Prepared, dressed body', 'Exam gloves']


  • For obese bodies, use a lift specifically designed to hold more weight. You can also buy additional body lift straps to help move a heavier body.


  • An adult human body can weigh less than 100 pounds or more than 1,000 pounds. To avoid injury, do not operate a body lift or try to move a body without assistance.