The word pall comes from the Latin pallium meaning cloak. Thus a cloak or covering – a pall – is placed over the casket, or in ancient times, the body, of the deceased when a casket was not affordable. The use of funeral palls has a long-standing tradition dating back to at least the Middle Ages. During this time, the cloth was often rich or brightly colored, and palls were often richly embroidered. In America and Canada, the palls used today are often white. Palls may be decorated with embroidery or contrasting fabrics.
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