Army Funeral Services: Chapel Services

General Information:

Chapel services can be requested for any type of authorized burial service at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). Availability is subject to the number of requests for chapel funeral services and is not decided by the chaplain section. You may request the services of an organist and may request a military chaplain, if there will be no civilian religious leader present. The content of a chapel service is dependent on the religious leader and the family, and ANC does not dictate content. However, due to the large number of services at ANC, the actual chapel service can last no longer than 20 minutes. For specific information, please contact the internment section at 877-907-8585 or contact the Cemetery Representative upon arrival.

Specific Information:

Full Honors

Entering the Chapel:

  • We suggest that you arrive at Old Post Chapel on Ft. Myer at least 30 minutes prior to the service, to allow time to speak to the Cemetery Representative and to the family. If available, an Army chaplain will serve as an escort for full honor funerals and internments.
  • Just before the ceremony begins, stand outside by the OIC (Officer in Charge), and salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) along with him as the remains are brought out of the hearse and into the chapel. See Starting Diagram and the symbol chart for more information.
    Starting Diagram
    Symbols Chart
  • Casket: be prepared to drop your salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) and lead the casket into the chapel as the pallbearers make a five step formal turn with the casket. with the casket.
    Urn: start to drop your salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) and lead the procession, after the pallbearers have retrieved the remains and are standing with the other pallbearers, when you hear the command "ready - step". See Entering the chapel for more information.
    5 Step Turn
    Entering Chapel
  • Casket: When inside, please wait inside the Chapel's inner doors while the casket is positioned on the trolley, and then begin the processional to the front of the Chapel.
    Urn: Please lead the processional into the chapel.

In the Chapel:

  • Please conduct your chapel service according to the dictates of your faith. The length of the actual service inside the Chapel cannot normally exceed 20 minutes. We ask for your consideration regarding the length of your service due to the other services that will also be held in the Chapel during that day. Time is a constant concern, due to the number of services held here each day.
  • At the conclusion of your services, please walk to the center aisle, and walk to the rear of the casket /urn, facing the casket/urn to the front. The ushers will then come forward and the organist will play music.

Leaving the Chapel:

  • Turn to the rear and lead the processional out of the chapel. If you are in vestments and wish to change clothing, you may do so before leaving the building. See the diagram for more information.
    Leaving Chapel Diagram
  • When outside, stand to the left, near the caisson, and salute when you stop (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart). After the remains are secured on the caisson, move to a position in front of the marching element, by the iron gate, and stand. If you move in front of the flag, salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) while you walk past the flag draped caisson.

Funeral Processional:

  • The remainder of the services will depend on whether it will be in the columbarium or in ground burial. Please click on the appropriate link for information on the remainder of the services as it pertains to you:
    Columbarium
    In ground burial
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Standard Honors

Entering the Chapel:

  • We suggest that you arrive at Old Post Chapel on Ft. Myer at least 30 minutes prior to the service, to allow time to speak to the Cemetery Representative and to the family. See the diagram and the symbols chart for more information.
    Entering Chapel Diagram
    Symbols Chart
  • Just before the ceremony begins, stand outside by the OIC (Officer in Charge), and salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) along with him as the remains are brought out of the hearse and into the chapel.
  • Casket: be prepared to drop your salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) and lead the casket into the chapel after the pallbearers make a five step formal turn with the casket.
    Urn: start to drop your salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) and lead the procession, after the pallbearers have retrieved the remains and are standing with the other pallbearers, when you hear the command "ready - step". See the diagram for more information.
    5 Step Turn
    Entering Chapel Diagram
  • Please remember that military head gear is not worn inside the Chapel.
  • Please remember that weapons of any type are not allowed into the Chapel sanctuary.

In the Chapel:

  • Please conduct your chapel service according to the dictates of your faith. The length of the actual service inside the Chapel cannot normally exceed 20 minutes. We ask for your consideration regarding the length of your service due to the other services that will also be held in the Chapel during that day. Time is a constant concern, due to the number of services held here each day.
  • At the conclusion of your services, please walk to the center aisle, and walk to the rear of the casket / urn, facing the casket / urn to the front. The ushers will then come forward and the organist will play music.

Leaving the Chapel:

  • Turn to the rear and lead the processional out of the chapel. If you are in vestments and wish to change clothing, you may do so before leaving the building. See the diagram for more information.
  • Leaving the Chapel Diagram
  • When outside, stand to the left, near the hearse, and salute when you stop (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart). After the remains are secured in the hearse, go to your car, or to the vehicle you will ride in to go to the place of burial or inurnment. If you move in front of the flag, salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) while you walk past the flag draped casket.

Funeral Processional:

  • The remainder of the services will depend on whether it will be in the columbarium or in ground burial. Please click on the appropriate link for information on the remainder of the services as it pertains to you:
    Columbarium
    In ground burial
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No Military Honors

Entering the Chapel:

  • We suggest that you arrive at Old Post Chapel on Ft. Myer at least 30 minutes prior to the service, to allow time to speak to the Cemetery Representative and to the family.
  • Just before the ceremony, stand outside by the OIC (Officer in Charge) as the remains are brought out of the hearse and into the chapel. See the diagram and symbols chart for more information.
    Entering Chapel
    Symbols Chart
  • Casket: be prepared to lead the casket into the chapel as the pallbearers make a five step formal turn with the casket.
    Urn: start to lead the procession, after the pallbearer has retrieved the remains from the Cemetery Representative's car.
    5 Step Turn
  • Casket: When inside, please wait inside the Chapel while the casket is positioned on the trolley, and then begin the processional to the front of the Chapel.
    Urn: Please lead the processional into the chapel. See the diagram for more information.
    Procession
  • Please remember that military head gear is not worn inside the Chapel.

In the Chapel:

  • Please conduct your chapel service according to the dictates of your faith. The length of the actual service inside the Chapel cannot normally exceed 20 minutes. We ask for your consideration regarding the length of your service due to the other services that will also be held in the Chapel during that day. Time is a constant concern, due to the number of services held here each day.
  • At the conclusion of your services, please walk to the center aisle, and walk to the rear of the casket / urn, facing the casket / urn to the front. The ushers will then come forward and the organist will play music.

Leaving the Chapel:

  • Turn to the rear and lead the processional out of the chapel. If you are in vestments and wish to change clothing, you may do so before leaving the building. See the diagram for more information.
    Leaving Chapel Diagram

Funeral Processional:

  • The remainder of the services will depend on whether it will be in the columbarium or in ground burial. Please click on the appropriate link for information on the remainder of the services as it pertains to you:
    Columbarium
    In ground burial
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