A pall (also called mortcloth or casket saddle) is a cloth that covers a casket or coffin at funerals. The word comes from the Latin pallium (cloak), through Old English. It is also a stiffened square card covered with white linen, usually embroidered with a cross or some other appropriate symbol. The purpose of the pall is to keep dust and insects from falling into the Eucharistic elements in a chalice. The derivation is the same: the cloth is named after the presumed cloth that covered Jesus.
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