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A bier is a stand on which a corpse, or coffin or casket 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 or casket, though the coffin or casket 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.

Biers are generally substantially smaller than the coffin or casket they may hold for reasons of appearance; as a result, they are not particularly stable and can tip over unless well centered and undisturbed.

The Carmelite Priory, Mdinamarker , Malta has a colourful Bier on display that was used to carry the Monks or Friars before they were buried without a coffin.The Carmelite Priory has recently opened its doors to the public and is one of the cheaper and more fascinating tourist attractions in the Silent City.

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