Order of Events
We are honored you have chosen Arlington National Cemetery as the final resting place for your loved one. Here is what to expect on the day of your service.
The next of kin or family representative should provide the funeral start time to guests. The start time may also be listed on the ANC website if the next of kin has authorized it.
45 minutes prior to the scheduled service time:
• Family and guests arrive at the cemetery via Memorial Avenue.
• Gate guards will direct you to park in queuing lanes. Signs will let you know which lane is dedicated to your service.
• Proceed to the Administration Building, where the receptionist will guide you to your assigned family room.
• Note: Funeral services beginning at the Old Post Chapel must report to Fort Myer at least one hour prior to the start of the service in order to go through security.
10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled service time:
• The family's assigned ANC representative provides guidance on the funeral procession.
• Procession departs from queuing lanes, led by the family's assigned ANC representative, to the gravesite location or transfer point.
The service (generally 20-30 minutes):
• Committal service is conducted.
• Military funeral honors are rendered.
• Family departs gravesite to exit the cemetery.
Sequence of Events for Military Funeral Honors
• The caisson or funeral coach arrives at the gravesite. Military members present arms (render a salute).
• Casket team secures the casket. Non-commissioned officer-in-charge (NCOIC), officer-in-charge (OIC) and chaplain salute.
• Chaplain (military or civilian) leads the way to the gravesite, followed by casket team.
• Casket team sets down the casket and secures the flag.
• NCOIC/OIC ensures that the flag is stretched out, level and centered over the casket.
• Family is seated.
• NCOIC/OIC backs away and chaplain performs the service.
• For those eligible (i.e., general officers), a cannon salute is fired at conclusion of the interment service and before benediction.
• Chaplain concludes the service and backs away; NCOIC/OIC steps up to the casket.
• Cemetery representative asks family members to rise for honors.
• NCOIC/OIC presents arms to initiate the rifle volley.
• Rifle volley complete; bugler plays Taps.
• Family is asked to be seated.
• Casket team leader starts to fold the flag.
• Once the flag fold is completed, the flag is passed to the NCOIC/OIC.
• Casket team leaves gravesite.
• The flag is presented to the next of kin.
• For veterans of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, an Arlington Lady presents cards of condolence to the next of kin, on behalf of their service chief and the Lady herself.
• Chaplain/clergy extend condolences.
• Cemetery representative announces that the service has concluded.
For more information on military funeral honors, please see our fact sheet.