The Graveside Sequence For Funeral Directors Part 2

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 0 Comments

The Modified Funeral Sequence

Again, military and first responder funerals are about the deceased, but for the family.

Modified Funeral Setup

The honor guard arrives one hour before the ceremony and makes a couple of dry runs in their travel uniform.

  1. Fifteen to 20 minutes before the funeral, the team changes into their ceremonial uniform and forms up each element, pall bearers should face the grave.
  2. When the family arrives in the cemetery, the team should “tighten up”.
  3. At 100 yards out, team leadership calls everyone to attention.
  4. At 50 yards out, key members render a hand salute.
  5. The coach pulls up with the casket. Salutes are dropped.
  6. The family and guests exit their vehicles and gather around the coach. The funeral director signals the commander of the team to begin.
  7. The pallbearers remove the casket and transport it to the grave all elements render a salute (firing party commander if there).
  8. The pallbearers place the casket on the mockup and the bugler and firing party commander drop their salutes.
  9. The pallbearers bring the flag to “tabletop” the pallbearers fold the flag, hand it to the commander and depart to take up their positions as the firing party* and bugler.
  10. Firing party fires, the bugler sounds Taps, the flag is presented to the NOK and the team departs.

*The minimum compliment for a firing party is three members who fire. The maximum is seven. Any makeup of the firing party fires only three times. They do not fire the 21-Gun Salute.

The funeral can go one of two ways, depending on what the family wants:

  1. Religious service first. A chaplain says a few words and the funeral director says, “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise (prepare) for the rendering of (military) honors”.
  2. (Military) honors first. The firing party fires the Three-Volley Salute, the bugler sounds Taps, and the commander presents the flag to the next of kin. All elements depart.

The Veteran Funeral Sequence.

Veteran Funeral Setup

  1. The two- or three-member honor guard arrives one hour before the ceremony and makes a couple of dry runs in their travel uniform. One member carries the urn, one carries the flag and one pre-posts to sound Taps.
  2. Fifteen to 20 minutes before the funeral, the team changes into their ceremonial uniform and forms up where the coach (probably a four-door car) will stop.
  3. When the family arrives in the cemetery, the team should “tighten up”.
  4. At 100 yards out, team leader brings the team to attention.
  5. At 50 yards out, the commander renders a hand salute.
  6. The coach pulls up with the casket, commander drops salute.
  7. The family and guests exit their vehicles and gather around the coach. The funeral director opens each (rear) door of the coach (car), urn on the left, folded flag on the right.
  8. The pallbearers approach and face the vehicle at the same time and then remove the urn and flag.
  9. The pallbearers place the urn and flag on the designated platform (e.g. a table).
  10. The pallbearers move out of the way facing the family. The funeral director announces, “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise (prepare) for the rendering of (military) honors”. The two honor guard members move into place: one in front of the table to retrieve the flag and one behind, centered on the family, (both can be in front if there is enough room to fold the flag there). The member with the flag moves to the other and, while they unfold the flag, both take steps backward to remain centered on the family until all of the triangle folds are unfolded.
  11. If only two members, the flag is refolded and one member departs to sound Taps and then the other member who is standing by, presents the flag to the NOK.
  12. Once the flag is completely open, the preposted member sounds Taps. Once Taps is finished, the flag is refolded and presented to the NOK. Honor guard members depart.

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