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Air Force Funeral Services: Chapel Services


General Information:

Chapel services can be requested for any type of authorized burial service at Arlington. 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. An Air Force chaplain will serve as an escort when civilian clergy are presiding. The content of a chapel service is dependent on the religious leader and the family, and Arlington does not dictate content. It is requested that you speak with the Air Force chaplain for planning purposes so that your specific needs can be addressed. 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 interment 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 Fort Myer at least 30 minutes prior to the service, to allow time to speak to the cemetery representative, the Air Force chaplain, and the family. The chaplain will serve as your escort for military honors both in and out of the chapel and can explain military protocol for the service.

  • Just before the ceremony begins, stand with the chaplain and salute as the remains are brought out of the vehicle and into the chapel. See Starting Diagram and the symbol chart for more information.

  • Please walk with the chaplain into the chapel when indicated. Entering the chapel

  • Casket: When inside, please wait inside the chapel's inner doors while the casket is positioned on the trolley. urn: Wait until the urn bearer has secured the urn and is ready to proceed.

  • Before proceeding, ask the congregation to stand as the remains are ushered in.

  • Please remember that military head gear is not worn inside the chapel.

  • Please remember that weapons of any type are not allowed in 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 families that will have services in the Chapel during that day.

  • At the conclusion of your service, the chaplain will escort you to the center isle. You will then turn and face the casket /urn. The ushers will then come forward and secure the remains. As you leave the rostrum, the organist will play recessional 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.

  • Remain next to the chaplain so that military honors are not hindered.

  • When outside, stand by the chaplain and salute when you stop (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart). If you move in front of the flag, please salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) while you walk past the flag-draped caisson.

  • At this point, you may elect to walk with the chaplain or ride with the family.

Funeral Processional:

  • The chaplain will escort the processional to the place of burial or inurnment.

  • The cemetery representative will line the funeral processional up as necessary. If you are unable to attend the chapel portion of the service, we advise you go by the Administration Building 877-907-8585 and ask for a map that will give you directions to the gravesite. It is also highly recommended that you do this at least one hour in advance in order to find the gravesite. Once you have located that gravesite, please park as far away as possible so not to interfere with the funeral procession. We also ask that you remain in your car until the funeral procession arrives, you may be asked by the cemetery representative to move your car farther from the gravesite in order to accommodate the procession.

Standard Honors

Entering the Chapel:

  • We suggest that you arrive at Old Post Chapel on Fort Myer at least 30 minutes prior to the service, to allow time to speak to the cemetery representative, the Air Force chaplain, and to the family. The chaplain will serve as your escort for this service and can explain military protocol for this service.

  • Just before the ceremony begins, stand with the chaplain and salute as the remains are brought out of the vehicle and into the chapel. See Starting Diagram and the symbol chart for more information.

  • Please walk with the chaplain into the chapel foyer when indicated.

  • 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.

  • Before proceeding, ask the congregation to stand as the remains are ushered in.

  • 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.

  • When outside, stand by the chaplain and salute when you stop (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart). After the remains are secured in the vehicle, you may proceed to your personal transportation. If you move in front of the flag, please salute (Civilian dress: place your right hand over your heart) while you walk past.

Funeral Processional:

  • The cemetery representative will line the funeral procession up as needed.

  • The chaplain will join the Arlington Lady and escort and proceed to the place of interment or inurnment.

  • Visiting clergy should secure personal transportation and follow the procession as directed. If you are unable to attend the chapel portion of the service, we advise you go by the Administration Building 877-907-8585 and ask for a map that will give you directions to the gravesite. It is also highly recommended that you do this at least one hour in advance in order to find the gravesite. Once you have located that gravesite, please park as far away as possible so not to interfere with the funeral procession. We also ask that you remain in your car until the funeral procession arrives, you may be asked by the cemetery representative to move your car farther from the gravesite in order to accommodate the procession.

No Military Honors

ANC Air Force chaplains do not escort visiting clergy during a No Honors funeral. However, if you need the assistance of an Air Force ANC chaplain, please call (703) 614-0887, and we will gladly assist you.

Entering the Chapel:

  • We suggest that you arrive at Old Post Chapel on Fort Myer at least 30 minutes before the service, to allow time to speak to the cemetery representative and to the family.

  • Please walk with the into the chapel foyer area when directed by the cemetery representative.