Manual of Drill and Ceremonial | Chapter 11 Religious Services and Funerals
How troops, pallbearers and bands should act at state, military and civilian funerals. This includes at a vigil, in the church, in processions and at the graveside.
- Section 1 Religious services 11-1-1
- Section 2 Funerals 11-2-1
- Introduction 11-2-1
- The next of kin’s wishes 11-2-1
- The funeral procession 11-2-2
- The vigil 11-2-6
- Procedure for the departure of the casket 11-2-8
- The church service 11-2-11
- Procession 11-2-13
- The move to the graveside 11-2-15
- Arrival at the graveside 11-2-15
- Graveside service 11-2-16
- Conclusion 11-2-18
- Cremation 11-2-18
- Section 3 Instructions for the bearer party, honorary pallbearers and insignia bearers 11-3-1
- Section 4 The unloading of a casket from an overseas aircraft 11-4-1
- Section 5 Burial or scattering of ashes at sea 11-5-1
- Section 6 Process for the ceremonial folding of the national flag of Canada 11-6-1
- General 11-6-1
- Figure 11-1-1 Drumhead Service 11-1-3
- Figure 11-2-1 The Vigil 11-2-3
- Figure 11-2-2 Posting the Vigil 11-5-7
- Figure 11-2-3 Relieving the Vigil 11-2-10
- Figure 11-2-4 The Church Seating Plan 11-2-12
- Figure 11-2-5 Procession 11-2-14
- Figure 11-2-6 Suggested Positions of Funeral Party at Gravesite 11-2-17
- Figure 11-3-1 Prepare to Lift 11-3-5
- Figure 11-3-2 Raise – Final Position 11-3-6
- Figure 11-3-3 Outwards 11-3-7
- Figure 11-3-4 Turn 11-3-8
- Figure 11-3-5 Lowering the Casket 11-3-9
- Figure 11-3-6 Lifting the Casket 11-3-11
- Figure 11-3-7 Lowering the Casket 11-3-12
- Figure 11-5-1 Arrival at Ship’s Side 11-5-2
- Figure 11-6-1 Flag folding procedure 11-6-2
SECTION 1 RELIGIOUS SERVICES
- The procedures detailed below shall be followed in all circumstances without alteration.
- The vigil consists of four corporals/privates (with both male and female representation if possible. Unless the service is specifically held to remember personnel from a single environment or unit, the four are customarily chosen from the three environments of the Canadian Armed Forces and from the 16.oyal Canadian Mounted Police when practicable.
- A vigil shall be mounted on the cenotaph/memorial as noted in Section 2, 15 minutes prior to the service, with the front of the cenotaph/memorial corresponding to the foot of the casket. The vigil shall remain on duty unrelieved until the senior dignitary has departed on completion of the ceremony. During their tour of duty, the vigil shall remain at rest on arms reversed. Accompanying the Vigil Party at the National War Memorial is a Nursing Officer.
- The parade should be in position at the cenotaph/memorial 10 minutes prior to the ceremony and standing easy.
- As the senior dignitary’s vehicle approaches, the parade commander shall bring the parade to attention. If arms are being carried, the parade then shall be brought to the shoulder arms position.
- When the senior dignitary is in position on the dais, the parade commander orders the appropriate compliments noted in A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF soon to become A-DH-200-000/AG-000, The Heritage Structure of the CAF, Chapter 13. If the dignitary is a senior officer (colonel, lieutenant-colonel or major) or if arms are not carried, drill is in accordance with Chapter 9, Section 2, paragraphs 18 to 22.
- The remembrance ceremony itself commences with the band playing “O Canada”. The parade shall remove headdress prior to prayers of remembrance; headdress is replaced on completion of prayers (see Chapter 2, paragraph 23).
- Buglers or trumpeters shall sound “Last Post” just prior to the commencement of the two-minutes period of silence (normally 11:00 to 11:02 hrs). At those locations where a 21 gun salute is fired as an integral part of the Remembrance Day ceremony when requested by the Remembrance Day ceremony organizer, a single round will be fired at 11:00hrs to signal the start of the two minutes of silence. (see A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF soon to become A-DH-200-000/AG-000; The Heritage Structure of the CAF, Chapter 13).
- During the silence, no musical instrument shall be played, including bagpipes, as this detracts from the purpose of the event which is the quiet reflection on the service and sacrifice of the dead. Following the two-minute period of silence, “Rouse” shall be sounded. The lament may be incorporated either before the “Last Post” or after the “Rouse”, or, if the parade commander so wishes, after the two minutes silence and before the “Rouse”. The commencement of the 21 Gun Memorial salutes, if available, occurs immediately after the two minutes silence (at the start of the “Rouse” or lament). After the playing of “Rouse” or lament the reading of the “Act of Remembrance” may occur, after which the official wreaths shall be laid. During the laying of wreaths, the parade shall be in the stand at ease position.
- The accompanying wreath bearers shall be one pace to the left rear of the dignitary, carrying the wreath in the left hand whenever possible. When the dignitary salutes or bows his head, the bearer shall salute.
- On completion of the official wreath laying, the parade shall be brought to attention and the band shall play “God Save The Queen”. The remembrance ceremony is then complete. It is at this time that the spectators may come forward to lay ‘unofficial’ wreaths.
- The dignitaries may depart or move to a saluting dais. The parade will march past and be dismissed.
CHURCH PARADES IN CHURCHES
- On arrival at the church, the parade is halted and the officers fall out. Under command of the warrant officers, the parade enters the church in single file, followed by the officers.
- After the service, the officers shall file out of the church first, followed by the rank and file. The parade shall fall in as quickly as possible and move off to avoid traffic congestion.
- Religious tenets, including those which are gender based, shall be respected (see Chapter 1, Section 2, paragraph 22). For Christian churches, headdress will be removed at the church entrance, and replaced at the exit. The advice of the officiating clergy will be sought and followed in each case.
CHURCH PARADES ELSEWHERE
- If a church parade is to be held in a drill hall or similar area, the battalion shall be formed up normally, except that the chief warrant officer shall position company markers so that the whole of the battalion can be accommodated in the area. The commanding officer shall order the battalion to remove headdress and stand at ease before the chaplain proceeds with the service. On completion of the service, the commanding officer shall call the battalion to attention and order it to replace headdress before carrying on normally.
- For a Drumhead Service:
- The parade shall form up on the parade ground with the band at the centre rear of the parade;
- On the command to form hollow square, the band marches to a position on the right flank, facing inwards (see Figure 11-1-1);
- When the band is in position, the drums are piled to form an altar under the command of the drum major in the same manner as for consecrating Colours (see Chapter 9, Section 4, paragraphs 11 to 14);
- The parade commander then orders REMOVE – HEADDRESS and the chaplain conducts the religious service; and
- Following the service, headdress is replaced, the drums are unpiled and the parade dismissed.
Figure 11-1-1 Drumhead Service
SECTION 2 FUNERALS
- There are three types of funerals: state (one officially sponsored by the government as a public expression of honour), military (one carried out by the military in accordance with this section) and civilian.
- This section deals with the first two.
- It is permissible to augment a civilian funeral by providing a bugler to sound the “Last Post” and the “Rouse”, and band music. Remarks on mourning bands and headdress removal also apply, the guidelines being those of common courtesy.
- All Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel attending a state or military funeral in uniform shall wear either Full Dress, No. 1 or No. 1A Ceremonial order of dress; the order of dress shall be the same for all within any one component in the funeral party. In addition:
- Mourning bands shall be worn during the ceremony by all officers and chief warrant officers. They shall be removed immediately after the burial services have been completed.
- Headdress shall be removed at the beginning of the grave side service and replaced before the sounding of the “Last Post” and “Rouse”. Headdress shall not be removed by the guard or band.
- During a funeral, words of command should be subdued so as not to detract from the ceremony, but given loudly enough to ensure that necessary actions are taken. Similarly, when bands are repositioning themselves on parade, they shall do so with subdued verbal commands or visual signals and without drum beats. The music (Including pipers) shall cease playing prior to entering the cemetery grounds. (Single drum beats cadence)
- All members of the guard shall bear arms. The escort normally should bear arms, but if this is not feasible, the escort may be unarmed except for colour escorts. Bayonets will not be fixed by the guard or escort, except the Colour escorts.
- On specific request from the next of kin only, a firing party, formed from the guard, will fire volleys at military funerals (see Chapter 4, Section 2).
- Officers attending funerals as mourners shall not draw swords. Officers wearing swords and commanding troops bearing arms shall draw swords, but will return swords prior to entering the place of burial. The bearers shall be military personnel
- Flags flown on poles and masts shall be half-masted as noted in A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF soon to become A-DH-200-000/AG-000; The Heritage Structure of the CAF.
- The National Flag shall be used to drape the casket at the funeral ceremony unless the next of kin specifically requests that the CAF Ensign be used in lieu. No other flags shall be carried on parade (see A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF soon to become A-DH-200-000/AG-000; The Heritage Structure of the CAF).
- Colours carried in funeral processions shall be draped as noted in Chapter 8, Section 1, paragraph 9. They shall not be saluted while part of the funeral party and in attendance upon the casket, the honour being reserved for the deceased. Colours carried by units tasked with route lining shall follow the procedures detailed in Chapter 12, Section 1.
THE NEXT OF KIN’S WISHES
- The expressed wishes of the next of kin will be respected at all funerals whenever possible.
- Commonly, next of kin request more intimate funerals, either with smaller funeral parties or by leaving out the full sequence of a military funeral. For example, the next of kin may request military participation in the church service only, with limited representation at the grave site. In these cases, flags and accoutrements can be removed from the casket when most convenient.
- If the exigencies of the service, such as a shortage of personnel, prevent the provision of all the elements of a military funeral desired by the next of kin, every effort should be made within local resources to ensure a military presence.
THE FUNERAL PROCESSION
- The composition of a funeral party is detailed in Table 11-2-1 and illustrated in Figure 11-2-5.
- The strength of funeral parties is detailed in Table 11-2-2. Funeral parties shall not exceed those detailed, although the next of kin may request less formality, for example, only a bearer party.
|1||Escort||The escort shall lead the funeral procession. The strength of the escort is detailed in Table 11-2-2. The escort may carry Colours. The escort may be armed.|
|2||Guard||The strength of the guard is detailed in Table 11-2-2. The guard shall be armed. If a trumpeter/bugler is in attendance in lieu of a band, he shall march with the guard, as may a piper. The firing party shall be formed from the guard.|
|3||Band||The band, with drums muffled, shall commence playing the Funeral March from the church. The band shall cease playing when within 300 metres of a hospital or infirmary. The band (including pipers) shall cease playing prior to entering the cemetery grounds. (Single drum beats cadence).|
|4||Funeral Commander and Officiating Clergy||The funeral commander shall march in front of the officiating clergy.|
|5||Gun Carriage||The casket shall be borne on a gun carriage, if available. If not, a hearse shall be used.|
|5a||Gun Carriage Commander||If the carriage is a naval field gun carriage, the commander of its crew shall be on either flank, whichever is more convenient (for naval field gun carriage drill, see Chapter 12, Annex A). If the carriage is an artillery gun carriage, the detachment commander shall ride in the tractor with the driver.|
|6||Bearer Party||The strength and composition of the bearer party is detailed in Table 11-2-2. The bearers are the personnel who carry the casket (see Section 3). The commander of the bearer party shall ensure that the flag, headdress, etc., on the casket are properly arranged throughout the funeral. Headdress of the bearers Party? shall be removed when carrying the casket. The bearers shall be military personnel|
|7||Headdress Bearers||The headdress bearers shall carry the headdress of the members of the bearer party who are carrying the casket.|
|8||Honorary Pallbearers||Honorary pallbearers normally are selected from the same rank as that held by the deceased. The honorary pallbearers shall be either military personnel or civilians; they shall not be mixed. The strength of the honorary pallbearers is detailed in Table 11-2-2. The position of the pallbearers will be in order of seniority, alternating on either side of the casket; the senior being at the foot of the deceased on the right-hand side, the next senior in rank on the left-hand side, etc. (pallbearers were originally personnel who carried the pall, which was a cloth, usually of black, purple or white velvet, spread over a casket).|
|9||Insignia Bearer(s)||The orders, decorations and medals of the deceased may be carried on a cushion by the insignia bearer. If two or more insignia bearers are necessary, they shall both be either serving or retired members of the CAF. If an insignia bearer is retired, he shall wear uniform in accordance with QR&O 17.06(3). The insignia bearers are military members and normally are nominated by the family of the deceased.|
It is acceptable custom to not employ insignia bearers. In this instance the orders, decorations and medals are left (secured) on the flag draping the casket.
|10||Chief Mourners||The chief mourners may walk or ride in the procession.|
|11||Queen’s Representative||Her Majesty may be represented by a member of the Royal Family, Governor General or Lieutenant-Governor|
|13||Military Mourners in Uniform||Military mourners in uniform shall position themselves in order of seniority|
|14||Mourners Not in Uniform||-|
|15||Rear Detachment of the Escort||The strength of the rear detachment is detailed in Table 11-2-2.|
|Serial||Deceased||Funeral Commander||Marching Elements|
|Escort||Guard||Bearer Party||Honorary Pallbearers||Rear Detachment|
|1||CDS||BGen or above||400||Col||50||Capt||8 CWOs||CWO||8||50||Capt|
|2||BGen and above||Col||225||LCol||50||Capt||8 CWOs||CWO||8||25||Lt|
|3||Maj to Col||Officer of equivalent rank||60||Maj||12||Sgt||8 WOs||MWO||8||25||Lt|
|4||OCdt to Capt||Sgt to Capt||40||Capt||12||Sgt||8 cpls to Sgts||WO||8||-||-|
|5||WO to CWO||Sgt to Capt||40||Lt||12||Sgt||8 cpls to Sgts||Sgt||8||-||-|
|6||Sgt and below||Sgt to Capt||20||Sgt||12||Sgt||8 Sgts or below||Sgt||-||-||-|
- When CWOs, MWOs or WOs are not available, the next lower rank shall be used.
- the numbers shown in columns (d) and (m) are subject to the resources available to the unit conducting the funeral.
- This table does not include mourners.
- Whenever possible, a band and trumpeter/bugler shall participate in a military funeral. A piper may also participate. Trumpet and bagpipe banners are to be draped with black crepe tied in a bow. Drums are to be muffled and draped with black material. Drum Major maces, less those for regiments of foot guards, are to have the head covered with a black bag.
- The strength of the guard bears the same relationship to the rank of the deceased as does a guard of honour (see A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF, Chapter 13). The guard for a deceased colonel and below is of the same strength as a ceremonial quarter guard, less two posts of double sentries, and is the strength required for a firing party.
- A firing party shall be used only on the specific request of the next of kin and shall be formed from the guard.
- The numbers shown in column (h) and (j) will depend on the size of the casket (either six or eight bearers may be used. When eight bearers are used, an additional two reserve bearers shall be tasked. The bearer party shall always include two headdress bearers.
- The body of a deceased dignitary for whom a state funeral is ordered usually lies in state in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings or in the Provincial Legislative Assembly building. The period of time during which the deceased will lie in state is directed by the government minister responsible for the funeral arrangements.
- The guarding of the casket during the lying in state is called the vigil. The privilege of guarding the casket of a deceased serving or former Governor General, or other former or serving vice-regal representative, normally is accorded to officers of the CAF and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Similarly, and unless ordered to the contrary, warrant officers and sergeants of the CAF and non-commissioned officers of the RCMP are accorded the privilege of guarding the casket of a deceased dignitary who is of other than vice-regal or former vice-regal status. (The protective staffs of the Senate and the House of Commons also usually participate in a vigil in Parliament for non-military personages. Military and protective staff members shall not be intermingled during a vigil shift.)
- The vigil shall be maintained on a 24-hour basis. However, the minister responsible for the funeral arrangements may wish to shorten or otherwise restrict the periods of the vigil.
- The period of vigil for each watch shall be 30 minutes.
- Vigils mounted on cenotaphs for remembrance services (Section 1) correspond to those detailed in this article, except:
- the privilege of guarding a cenotaph is accorded to corporals/privates; and
- since the period of vigil is short, there is only one watch with no relief.
- Six sentinels are always on duty (see Figure 11-2-1). Each watch consists of:
- the commander (a senior officer or warrant officer, see paragraph 16);
- the senior on the right of the casket at the foot (Number 1);
- the next senior on the left of the casket at the foot (Number 2);
- the next senior on the right of the casket at the head (Number 3);
- the next senior on the left of the casket at the head (Number 4); and
- the sentinel-in-waiting (officer-in-waiting) (Number 5).
- The commander of each watch positions himself facing the foot of the casket, where he can see all the sentinels on duty. He shall stand at attention (if an officer, he does not draw his sword).
- Numbers 1 to 4 shall face outwards, obliquely, resting on their arms reversed.
- The sentinel-in-waiting positions himself where he can see the commander. He shall stand at ease (officers do not draw their sword).
- The sentinel-in-waiting of the next relief shall be in the waiting room, fully dressed and available for duty if called.
- The following is the procedure for posting the vigil:
- The vigil shall be inspected in the waiting room by the commander;
- They form up in single rank in the following order: 2, 4, 1, 3 and 5 (see Figure 11-2-2);
- Number 1, 2, 3 and 4 draw swords (officers only);
- They march in single file, in slow time, to the lying-in-state chamber, followed by the commander;
- On entering the chamber, Number 2 and Number 4 pass the head of the casket and wheel right. Number 1 and Number 3 wheel right and pass along the near side of the casket;
- It is essential that Number 1 and Number 2 go forward in line, as do Number 3 and Number 4, who shall step short. They mark time on arriving at their stations;
- The commander quietly orders HALT;
- While Numbers 1 to 4 are taking up their stations, Number 5 takes up his station, halts independently and stands at ease;
- After halting on their stations, Numbers 1 to 4 observe a standard pause and turn outwards;
- The commander quietly orders PRESENT – ARMS and after a standard pause, REST ON YOUR ARMS – REVERSED; and
- The commander remains at attention.
Figure 11-2-1 The Vigil
- The following is the procedure for relieving the vigil:
- The relief vigil shall be inspected, form up, (officers draw swords) and slow march as noted in paragraph 25;
- They enter the chamber as noted above. After arriving at a position one pace to the right of and facing the same direction as the old vigil, they mark time (see Figure 11-2-3);
- The commander orders HALT. The commander then gives a double tap on the ground with the scabbard, or a tap on the handguard of the rifle, as the signal for sentinels to change;
- The old vigil raise their heads, observe a standard pause, present arms (bring the sword to the recover), observe another standard pause, shoulder arms (return sword to the carry), observe another standard pause and step off together in slow time and march to the waiting room in the order: 3, 1, 4, 2 and 5;
- On the third pace of the old vigil, the new vigil take a pace to the left, observe a standard pause, present arms (bring the sword to the recover), observe another standard pause and rest on their arms reversed; and
- After No. 1 of the old vigil has passed through the exit, the old commander shall salute and retire, his place being taken by the new commander.
- All movements during reliefs are to be carried out in a slow dignified manner and not in ordinary drill in quick time.
- Should a sentinel require a relief to complete the vigil, he shall raise his head. On this signal, the sentinel-in-waiting shall immediately come to attention and shoulder arms (draw his sword) and take the place of the sentinel who has signalled using the same procedures as detailed above. The sentinel relieved shall retire immediately to the waiting room and the sentinel-in-waiting of the next relief shall take over as sentinel-in-waiting in the chamber.
PROCEDURE FOR THE DEPARTURE OF THE CASKET
- The last relief is to ensure that there is sufficient room for the bearer party to move into position. The vigil commander must be positioned so that visual contact can be made with the funeral commander and the bearer party.
- The funeral commander and the officiating clergy, accompanied by the members of the family, enter and move to pre-designated positions. Then, on a signal from the funeral commander to the bearer party (the signal can be relayed through the vigil commander if sight lines do not permit), the bearer party marches in slow time to the casket and place the casket on their shoulders.
- The vigil commander then quietly orders PRESENT – ARMS. All sentinels will come to the recover position and then salute, remaining in position until the casket has departed. The sentinel-in-waiting gives a hand salute as does the commander if he is an officer. In the case of non-commissioned members, the commander will shoulder arms and then order PRESENT – ARMS. The four sentinels at the casket will execute the movement, the commander will salute at the shoulder on the last movement of the present arms and the sentinel-in-waiting will stand fast.
Figure 11-2-2 Posting the Vigil
Figure 11-2-3 Relieving the Vigil
THE CHURCH SERVICE
- The customs of the particular religion shall be respected in all cases. For example, Jewish deceased are normally buried within 24 hours of their death and the caskets of Christian deceased are positioned differently for clergy and for lay people. The advice of the officiating clergy should be sought and followed, especially for the services in the church and at the graveside.
- For a state funeral, if the deceased has been lying in state in the church, the vigil shall be dismounted one-half hour prior to the commencement of the church service. If the deceased has been lying in state in a place other than the church, he shall be escorted to the church by the procession as detailed in paragraphs 38 to 46.
- In a military funeral, where the deceased will be placed in the church the same day as the service, the following procedure will take place on the arrival of the hearse at the church:
- The guard will be drawn up in two ranks, in open order, with arms at the shoulder, centred and facing the church door. The guard commander shall be posted three paces in rear and centre of the guard.
- The bearer party and its commander shall form in two ranks facing inwards, ranks being apart sufficiently enough to permit the hearse to drive through. As the deceased is removed from the hearse by the bearer party, the National Flag will be unrolled over the casket and the headdress and sword/belt-bayonet will be secured.
- As the deceased is being removed from the hearse, the guard commander shall order PRESENT – ARMS, and this position shall be maintained until the bearer party has entered the church. The guard commander will then order SHOULDER – ARMS and ORDER – ARMS, and the guard moved to a suitable place until it is required to re-form for the procession following the service.
- The bearer party, lead by the chaplain, shall proceed into the church, filing between the honorary pallbearers who had previously formed into two ranks, facing inwards, at the entrance to the church. The casket will be oriented as noted in Figure 11-2-4. The honorary pallbearers will follow the casket into the church and proceed to their pews.
- The bearer party, after entering the chancel, will lay the casket on the church carrier, and the insignia bearer will lay the medals on the casket. Under the command of its commander, the bearer party and the insignia bearer will proceed to the pews allocated for them.
- When a funeral service is held for multiple casualties, the caskets may be arranged in the church prior to the service.
- The positions of those attending the church service are indicated in Figure 11-2-4.
- On the completion of the service, the officiating chaplain shall lead the way out of the church, followed in order by the:
- honorary pallbearers;
- casket and bearer party;
- insignia bearer;
- next of kin;
- relatives; and
- other mourners.
Figure 11-2-4 The Church Seating Plan
- While the funeral service is being conducted, the procession except for the guard (see paragraph 41) shall form up outside the church, as detailed in Figure 11-2-5.
- Order of March. The unit of the deceased takes precedence over other units irrespective of seniority. Otherwise, units are to march in the reverse order to that usually followed, i.e. the senior unit and the senior rank marches nearest the casket (see Figure 11-2-5).
- On completion of the funeral service, the chaplain shall descend from the chancel and proceed to the rear of the pews occupied by the honorary pallbearers. The commander of the bearer party, on seeing the chaplain descend from the chancel, shall lead the bearer party and the insignia bearer into the chancel, where each member shall halt quietly in the correct position. The insignia bearer shall remove the medals from the casket and adopt a position in rear of the commander. As the bearer party enters the chancel, the honorary pallbearers shall leave their pews and form in file behind the chaplain. The bearer party may have to turn the casket, and space for this should be left available. The bearer party shall raise the casket to their shoulders (see also Section 3, paragraphs 1 to 6), and on the commander’s orders, SLOW – MARCH, the procession, lead by the chaplain, shall file out of the church to the gun carriage or hearse.
- The guard shall be formed facing the entrance to the church and behind the gun carriage or hearse (leaving sufficient room for the bearer party and casket to pass between the guard and the church entrance), as detailed in paragraph 34a above. As the casket appears at the entrance of the church, the guard commander shall order PRESENT – ARMS. At this time all officers and personnel not under command shall salute. The guard commander orders SHOULDER – ARMS when the casket is secured on the gun carriage or placed in the hearse. The guard commander then marches the guard to its position in the procession in quick time.
- After the guard commander has halted the guard in its position in the procession (remaining in the shoulder arms position), and after having ascertained that the whole procession is in position and prepared to move off, the parade commander shall give the following orders:
- REVERSE – ARMS; and
- PROCESSION, BY THE RIGHT (LEFT), SLOW – MARCH. The band shall commence playing the “Dead March” and if the deceased is entitled to a gun salute (see A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF soon to become A-DH-200-000/AG-000; The Heritage Structure of the CAF, Chapter 13, minute guns shall commence firing.
- The distance to be marched in slow time shall be at the discretion of the funeral commander. However, in urban centres a minimum distance of one-third kilometre shall be marched in slow time. If the distance to be marched requires it, the parade commander may either:
- after the minimum distance, order FUNERAL PACE, followed by ATTEN – TION as the cemetery is approached; or
- more commonly, order CHANGE TO QUICK TIME, QUICK – MARCH after the minimum distance from the church has been covered.
- In rare cases, such as State funerals with long parade routes, and when a band is present , the funeral commander may also previously order a quicker cadence for slow time in parade instructions (normally 80 paces per minute) to assist marching personnel to maintain balance and natural rhythm over the long route. The band or bands must be carefully placed to ensure clear tempo to guide everyone simultaneously.
- If the distance to the place of the burial is too great to march, the procession shall be halted after at least the minimum distance to embus for the cemetery or, if the next of kin so requests, there shall be no marching procession.
Figure 11-2-5 Procession
THE MOVE TO THE GRAVESIDE
- The route may be lined for funerals of senior officers and above. Except for state funerals, the escort shall be used for this purpose at the end of the route and the lining performed such that it ends at a convenient point near the graveside. The distance to be lined shall be in accordance with direction given by the parade commander. After considering the size of the cemetery and the location of the gravesite, he may direct that the route be lined:
- from the point where the cortege is to be met by the officiating clergy to the grave; or
- from the entrance of the cemetery to the grave; or
- for the normal frontage of the escort, in two ranks.
- For state funerals, additional troops may be provided to line the route as detailed in Chapter 12, Section 1. If rifles are carried, bayonets shall not be fixed.
- When the procession is at a convenient distance from the gates of the cemetery, or the point where the cortege is to be met by the officiating chaplain if he did not march in the procession, the officer commanding the funeral procession shall give the command ATTEN – TION; or PROCESSION, CHANGE TO SLOW TIME, SLOW – MARCH, as applicable.
- The band shall play the “Dead March”, ceasing to play when the head of the procession approaches the gates of the cemetery. The band shall not play inside the cemetery, except for a hymn during the service at the graveside.
- When the head of the procession reaches the point from which the route will be lined, the escort commander shall give the command ESCORT, TO A __ PACE INTERVAL, IN TWO SINGLE FILES, LINE – ROUTE. The left file of the escort shall line the left side of the route and the right file shall line the right side of the route as detailed in Table 12-1-1. The leading half of the centre file shall wheel left and follow the left file, while the rear half wheels right and follows the right file. If the escort is armed, as each pair completes its about turn it shall, together, present arms and, if trained in ceremonial rifle drill, rest on its arms reversed.
- The casket, feet foremost, accompanied by the honorary pallbearers, the bearer party, etc. is to be carried or transported, in slow time, through the two ranks formed by the escort.
- The cortege, under command of the funeral commander, shall proceed to the graveside. Guard and band shall wheel independently and halt on predetermined positions on commands given by the guard commander and drum major. The casket, accompanied by the honorary pallbearers, the bearer party and the remainder of the procession, will continue to the graveside.
- If, for reason of distance, it is necessary to provide transportation for the funeral procession, the whole procession is to disembark just outside or within the cemetery. The lining of the route by the escort will be adjusted accordingly. The funeral commander shall be responsible for the acquisition of transport for the escort, guard and band, and possibly for the chief mourners. Transportation arrangements shall ensure that the escort proceeds to the gates of the cemetery, or the point where the procession is to be met by the officiating chaplain, by a route quicker than that taken by the rest of the cortege, so that they are in position and lining the route when the remainder arrives.
ARRIVAL AT THE GRAVESIDE
- On arrival at the graveside, the guard, band and officiating chaplain take up their positions (see Figure 11-2-6).
- The gun carriage or hearse halts and the bearer party removes the casket. The guard present arms, and military personnel not under command salute.
- The casket then is placed on stretchers over the grave.
- After the casket has been placed on the stretchers, the guard shall be ordered to rest on their arms reversed if trained in ceremonial arms drill, or to shoulder and order arms. The bearer party, on its commander’s commands, OUTWARDS – TURN, and QUICK – MARCH, move off by the foot of the grave to the right flank of the guard (see Figure 11-2-6). The headdress bearers return the headdress to each member of the bearer party.
- The insignia bearer places the cushion with medals on the casket. He then joins the chief mourners or military mourners.
- The chief mourners and honorary pallbearers take up their positions on arrival, followed by the military and civilian mourners.
- The rear detachment take up their position immediately in rear of the guard.
- When all the parties are in position at the graveside, the parade commander shall give the order PARADE, STAND AT – EASE. The officiating chaplain then shall step forward to commence the service.
- The cautionary note in paragraph 32 on observing religious customs shall be followed.
- As the officiating chaplain steps forward, the funeral commander orders PARADE, REMOVE – HEADDRESS. All military personnel, except the guard and band, shall remove headdress.
- On the completion of the service, the officiating chaplain shall step back. This is the signal for:
- the parade commander to order PARADE REPLACE – HEADDRESS;
- the guard to present arms; and
- the bugler to sound “Last Post”, observe a 10-second pause and then sound “Rouse”.
- The “Lament” is not a required part of these ceremonies; it may be played either before or after The Last Post/Rouse sequence, but not between the two.
- All officers and those non-commissioned members not under command shall maintain the salute from the first note of the “Last Post” to the last note of the “Rouse”.
- On completion of “Rouse”, the guard shall be ordered to SHOULDER – ARMS.
- Following the service, those present should pay their respects.
- If a gun salute (not to be confused with minute guns) or rifle volleys (if no guns are available or for those not entitled to a gun salute, see A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF soon to become A-DH-200-000/AG-000; The Heritage Structure of the CAF, Chapter 13) are to be fired on the specific request of the next of kin:
Figure 11-2-6 Suggested Positions of Funeral Party at Gravesite
- After the burial, flags shall be full-masted. Mourning bands shall be removed and Colours undraped to signify the end of military mourning on return to barracks or post burial reception.
- The commander of the bearer party shall remain at the cemetery to collect the flag, medals, sword and headdress after the mourners have departed and the official photographs have been taken.
- Officers senior to the officer commanding the funeral procession shall not rejoin the procession after the service at the graveside.
- The bearer party and its supporting members shall fall in with the rear detachment, and the officer commanding the procession shall order the band and the various parties to march off independently and form in line outside the cemetery in the following order: band, escort, guard and rear detachment.
- The procession then shall be marched off in quick time under the command of the parade commander. When it is well clear of the cemetery, the band shall play normal martial music.
- If the various funeral sections have been transported to the cemetery, they are to be ordered by the funeral commander to march off independently to their vehicles from the graveside, under orders of their respective commanders. The various parties shall be dismissed independently on returning to their units.
- When the remains are to be cremated, the procession proceeds directly to the crematorium.
- At the crematorium, the burial service will be conducted in the normal manner. Prior arrangements will be made for the positioning of the guard outside the chapel and the bugler either inside or outside the chapel.
- The ashes, flag and accoutrements will be collected from the crematorium staff at an appropriate time following the ceremony.
- The urn is not normally displayed at any subsequent memorial service. Prior to a memorial service, a folded flag and accoutrements may be arranged for display on a table in front of the chancel.
- The ashes may be buried or deposited in a cemetery, or scattered in accordance with the wishes of the next of kin.
SECTION 3 INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BEARER PARTY, HONORARY PALLBEARERS AND INSIGNIA BEARERS
THE BEARER PARTY
- Bearers should be the same height at the shoulder to facilitate carrying the casket on the shoulders. If this is not possible, the taller persons should be at the deceased members head. The bearer party composition is as detailed in Section 2, Table 11-2-2. The two reserve bearers may be employed to help lift and push at the rear of the casket when negotiating steps or stairs. When moving up and down stairways it may be necessary to reverse the order of bearers to maintain the casket level.
- The headdress bearers follow two paces behind the bearer party commander when on the march. The reserve bearers, if designated, follow two paces behind the headdress bearers. The insignia bearer(s) follow two paces behind the reserve bearers (see also Table 11-2-1 and Figure 11-2-5).
- The casket is always carried foot end foremost, except while manoeuvring to remove it from the gun carriage or hearse or place it on the grave stretchers.
- When the casket is removed from a gun carriage, it shall be carried on the shoulders of the bearer party. When it is removed from a hearse, the casket may be carried on the shoulders of the bearer party or by its handles, depending on the bearer party’s experience.
- Words of command to the bearer party shall be given in a low voice, audible only to the bearer party. The cautionary word of command is always BEARER PARTY.
- The bearer party and the bearer party commander shall not wear headdress when carrying the casket.
PROCEDURE TO MOVE THE CASKET FROM THE CHURCH OR CHAPEL TO THE GRAVESITE
- When ordered, the bearer party are to step off and without ceremony, occupy their position alongside the casket and then turn inwards. The bearer party commander is to be two paces to the rear.
- Lifting and Carrying the Casket
- On the command PREPARE TO LIFT, given by the commander of the bearer party, the bearers are to place both hands, fingers together, under the casket, with the thumbs running vertically up the side, shoulder width apart, ensuring that the National Flag is between the hands and the casket (Figure 11-3-1);
- On the command LIFT, the bearers are to take the weight by straightening the back, keeping their arms at their fullest extent and allowing the casket to clear the trestles (Figure 11-3-2);
- On the command PREPARE TO RAISE – RAISE, the bearers are to raise the casket slowly, ensuring that it remains level, until the hands come into line with the shoulders (Figure 11-3-3);
- On the command OUTWARDS, the hand nearest the foot end is to be rotated outwards, so that the thumb is underneath and the fingers together running vertically up the side (Figure 11-3-3);
- On the command TURN, the bearers are to turn and face the foot end of the casket, at the same time placing the casket well onto the shoulders, the inside arm passing beneath the casket, so that the hand is able to rest firmly on the outside shoulder of the bearer’s opposite number. The outside arm is to be bent at the elbow, the hand being positioned as close to the face as possible (Figure 11-3-4);
- On the command TURNING, SLOW – MARCH, the bearer party are to execute a turn of 180 degrees to the right or far enough to face the required exit. In order to not disturb the casket whilst turning, the foot end bearers are to side-step a pace to the required direction then bring their feet together. The head end bearers are to side-step a pace to the opposite direction then bring their feet together. The centre bearers are to side-step on the spot to the required direction. All bearers are to side-step simultaneously until facing the required exit;
- On the command STAND STILL they are to halt with their feet together. These movements are very difficult and must be carried out slowly;
- On the command SLOW – MARCH, the bearer party step off with the inside foot leading. The commander may keep step by saying very softly INSIDE; OUTSIDE; and
- The commander should remain two paces from the head end and follow the casket.
- 8A. Whenever the casket of a deceased member of the Canadian Armed Forces is being maneuvered up or down steps the upmost care must be taken. When a couple of steps or less are being navigated and the width of the tread of the steps is sufficient for the Bearer Party to remain in the forward movement position then the steps can be maneuvered slowly in that position. However, should the riser of the steps be high, the weather inclement, the casket heavy, or there is any doubt at all in the mind of the Bearer Party commander of the party's ability to safely maneuver the stairs then the following procedure should be used:
- The bearer party commander shall give the command HALT, INWARD TURN, PREPARE TO LOWER – LOWER, and then commence the maneuvering of the steps.
- On the command HALT, INWARD TURN, PREPARE TO LOWER – LOWER, the procedure outlined in Section 3 paragraph 9 shall be followed.
- The bearer party commander shall give the command STEP. On the command STEP the bearers close to the steps will take one step up or down the steps making sure to move their foot far enough in on the tread to ensure that there will be room for their second foot. They will then move their other foot up (or down) the step at the same time. At the same time the other bearers will take one step towards the step. On each consecutive command STEP another step will be taken until all the steps have been maneuvered.
- The bearer party commander will maintain his position behind the casket and ensure that the consecutive STEP commands are given slowly and that the casket is at all times level and in the control of the bearers. Should the casket slip, the bearer party commander is in a position to assist the bearers. Should the casket be very heavy or the steps long, the end bearers can move their hands to the end of the casket to assist in bearing the weight, or the bearer party commander can assist.
- Once the bearer party is completely on a flat surface then the bearer party commander shall give the command PREPARE TO LIFT – LIFT, OUTWARDS TURN and continue to move forward with the casket.
- On the command PREPARE TO LIFT – LIFT, OUTWARDS TURN, the procedure outlined in Section 3 paragraph 9 shall be followed.
- Halting and Lowering the Casket
- On the command HALT, which is given as the outside feet come to the ground, the bearers are to complete the pace with the next foot and then place the outside foot beside it.
- On the command INWARDS, the bearers are to rotate the outside hand, so that the fingers are extended beneath the casket with the thumb running up the side, forward of the face.
- On the command TURN, the bearers are to turn and face the casket, the chest approximately 30 cm from it, taking the weight with the outside hand for a moment until they can withdraw the inside arm from beneath the casket so as to be able to place the inside hand back underneath the casket.
- On the command PREPARE TO LOWER – LOWER, the bearers are to lower the casket gently, ensuring that it remains level, to arms length or to the required height for the trestles or to allow it to be fed into a hearse or onto a gun carriage.
- The Feed into the Hearse or onto the Gun Carriage
- On the command PREPARE TO FEED – FEED, the bearers, moving it inside hand to outside hand, feed the casket into the hearse. The foot end bearers are to guide it into the correct position. As each pair “lose” the casket, on the command UP from one of them, they resume the position of attention. The foot end bearers must ensure that the casket is placed into the hearse and is secure before they act on the UP.
- On the command OUTWARDS – TURN, the bearer party turn to face the hearse without bending the knee.
- Replacing Headdress
- On the command PREPARE TO RECEIVE HEADDRESS – RECEIVE, the bearer party will bend both elbows, at the same time extending the fingers vertically and together to a position, with the palms approximately 20 cm apart, in front and to the right or left of the outside shoulder. The two headdress bearers are to act together and move along their respective files distributing the headdress to each bearer, ensuring each receives the correct headdress (they should be marked). Upon completion, the headdress bearers return to their previous positions two paces in rear of the bearer party commander.
- On the command REPLACE – HEADDRESS, the bearers shall replace their headdress as detailed in Chapter 2.
- On the command ATTEN – TION, the bearers are come to the position of attention and, after the standard pause:
- step off in quick time and march to their transport out of sight of the mourners if the bearer party is to travel separately to the place of internment; or
- step off in slow time and take up a position to cover the front, centre and rear two paces to the outside of the hearse and leaving space for the honorary pallbearers. The bearer party commander will move two paces centre rear of the hearse with the headdress bearers two paces to his rear and covering off their respective files.
- Procession Words of Command. The bearer party will act on the words of command of the funeral commander (the firing party commander for small funerals).
- The Halt of the Hearse or Gun Carriage. Before the hearse arrives at its halt point, the bearers, on orders from the bearer party commander, will step short and regain their previous positions in rear of the hearse.
- On the command HALT, the bearers and the hearse should halt together.
- On the command PREPARE TO REMOVE HEADDRESS, REMOVE – HEADDRESS, the bearers will carry out the actions detailed in paragraph 11, but in reverse order.
- On the command INWARDS – TURN, the bearers will carry out the turn as previously described. If necessary, they can be given OUTWARDS – DRESS ensuring that the foot end bearers are as close to the hearse as is required. Note that before inwards turn is ordered, the funeral director should open the hearse door.
- On the command PREPARE TO FEED – FEED, the foot end bearers will grasp hold of the casket handles with their outside hands and the base with their inside hands. On an UP from one of them they will withdraw the casket to a point where they can adopt the “feed” position as previously described. On a second UP they will feed the casket from the hearse inside hand to outside hand. In pairs, the remaining bearers will take the weight also working on an UP until the commander is satisfied that the weight is evenly distributed and the bearer party is in the correct “lift” position.
- On the commands RAISE, OUTWARDS – TURN; and SLOW – MARCH, the bearers will carry out the actions already described. The hearse will move off when the casket has cleared its rear. Then with the chaplain leading, the bearer party will make its way to the grave side, manoeuvring carefully, as necessary, and be ordered to HALT when the left foot end bearers are one pace from, and in line with, the end-edge of the grave. The commander will then order INWARDS – TURN; and PREPARE TO LOWER – LOWER, as already described.
- Placing the Casket over the Grave. When the bearer party commander is satisfied that the bearers are covering off the sides of the grave, he will give the command SLOW – MARCH. The bearers will then step off, side pacing along the side of the grave, the foot end moving first, ensuring that they step over the support poles and straps laid over the grave, until the casket is covered off over the grave. The commander will then order STEADY and the bearers will adopt the position of attention.
Care must be taken when positioning the casket over the grave. Bearers must be consious of the lowering straps and may need to look down to ensure that their feet don’t become entangled when moving beside the grave.
Figure 11-3-1 Prepare to Lift
Figure 11-3-2 Raise – Final Position
Figure 11-3-3 Outwards
Figure 11-3-4 Turn
- Lowering the Casket. As soon as possible after the STEADY, the commander will give the command PREPARE TO LOWER – LOWER. The bearers will then take a pace to the rear with the foot furthest from the foot end of the casket and then bend both knees until the knee of the rear leg touches the ground, at the same time gently and evenly lowering the casket until it comes in contact with the supports (Figure 11-3-5). The commander then gives the command ATTEN – TION and the bearers will force both arms to the position of attention. The commander follows the casket to the edge of the grave and kneels with the bearer party.
- Feeding the Straps
- The straps should be previously positioned so that they are to the right of each bearer. On the command PREPARE TO FEED STRAPS – FEED, each bearer will grasp the end of their strap with the right hand. Then, on the command STRAPS, the bearers, using both hands, will feed the straps from the bottom vertically up through the handles ensuring that:
- the centre of each strap ends up under the centre of the casket base; and
- the excess is fed into the grave out of sight.
- On the command STAND – UP, the bearers release the strap and resume the position of attention.
- The straps should be previously positioned so that they are to the right of each bearer. On the command PREPARE TO FEED STRAPS – FEED, each bearer will grasp the end of their strap with the right hand. Then, on the command STRAPS, the bearers, using both hands, will feed the straps from the bottom vertically up through the handles ensuring that:
Figure 11-3-5 Lowering the Casket
- Undressing the Casket
- The accoutrements. On the command WREATH, the right hand foot bearer will lift up the wreath and place it to his left on the casket. The bearer on the left will put the belt/bayonet onto the wreath and place both items to his left. The bearer opposite will place the cushion with the decorations on the wreath and place it to his right. The bearer to his right will put the headdress on top and place all the accoutrements in front of the commander. The commander will remove them from the casket and retain them in both hands. Bearers on completion of their task will resume the position of attention. If the casket has had to be turned for any reason, the actions above are the same except starting with the headdress.
- Folding the Flag. The National Flag is to be folded with “quiet dignity”, as noted in A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the CF soon to become A-DH-200-000/AG-000, The Heritage Structure of the CAF, Chapter 4, Section 2, paragraph 19. On the command PREPARE TO FOLD FLAG – FOLD, the bearers on the right will fold the flag so that the edge reaches the far side of the casket. The left side bearers will fold the flag so that the edge is level with the far side. When this is completed, the foot end bearer will fold the flag once to the left. The remainder of the right side bearers will then, in turn, fold the flag to their left until the flag is neatly folded in front of the commander. The commander will then place the accoutrements onto it and remove the flag from the casket. Each bearer, on completing their fold and having smoothed the flag flat, will return their arms to the position of attention.
- Lifting, Lowering and Roll Straps
- Lifting the Casket. On the command TAKE UP – STRAPS the bearers adopt the kneeling position as per paragraph 15 above. They will take control of the straps. Both hands should end up in a full grip on the strap with the right hand above and just touching the left, with the thumbs uppermost. On the word of command STAND – UP, the bearers resume the position of attention, at the same time allowing the straps to run through both hands, until the arms are at their fullest extent in the front centre of the body, with the straps taut. On the command PREPARE TO LIFT – LIFT, the bearers take the weight on the straps and lift the casket evenly just clear of the supports (Figure 11-3-6). At this point, the two persons previously detailed will remove the supports.
- Lowering the Casket. On the command PREPARE TO LOWER – LOWER, the bearers will allow the straps to slide slowly through their hands, so that the casket is lowered gently and evenly into the grave (Figure 11-3-7). During this movement, if the casket becomes uneven the commander may order STOP; LOWER ON THE LEFT/RIGHT/FEET/HEAD; STOP; and PREPARE TO LOWER – LOWER, as necessary, until the casket has returned level and has settled at the bottom of the grave.
Ensure that spreaders are placed in the bottom of the grave to facilitate the removal of the straps once the casket is lowered.
- Roll Straps. On the command PREPARE TO ROLL STRAPS – ROLL, the bearers to the right of the commander will let the straps fall to their right rear and return both hands to the position of attention.The bearers to the left of the commander will roll the straps from the underside with both hands, forearms parallel to the ground and with the elbows tucked into the sides. Upon completion the bearers will adopt the position of attention in unison with the rolled strap in their left hand.
- The March Off. On the command OUTWARDS – TURN, the bearer will turn to face the commander. Then:
- On the command QUICK – MARCH, the bearer party will step off and march to a previously designated position, the commander bringing up the rear;
- On arrival at their correct position, the commander will order the bearer party to HALT; and REPLACE – HEADDRESS. This time the commander will be the last to receive his headdress so that one of the headdress bearers can take the flag and accoutrements before he receives his own headdress. The commander will then order the bearer party to LEFT/RIGHT – TURN, so that they are facing the grave;
- On the command PRESENT – ARMS from the firing party commander, the bearer party commander will salute and complete the compliment when the firing party commander gives the order SHOULDER – ARMS. If there is no firing party, the commander will salute on the first note of “Last Post” and complete the compliment on the last note of “Rouse”; and
- After the order DIS – MISS is given, the bearer party commander or the funeral commander will retrieve the flag and accoutrements from the headdress bearer and present them to the next-of-kin.
Figure 11-3-6 Lifting the Casket
Figure 11-3-7 Lowering the Casket
PROCEDURE FOR HONORARY PALLBEARERS AND INSIGNIA BEARERS
- On arriving at the church or chapel, honorary pallbearers and insignia bearers (see Section 2, Table 11-2-1, No. 9) shall be escorted by the ushers to their seats, which are at the left front facing the altar.
- After the service, the chaplain shall move forward, down the centre aisle to a position in line with the sixth row of pews.
- When the chaplain has halted, the insignia bearers shall move forward to the casket and pick up the insignia cushions. At the same time, the honorary pallbearers shall form up behind the chaplain in their order of seniority in two ranks (see Section 2, Table 11-2-1, No. 8).
- When the procession moves forward, the honorary pallbearers shall follow the chaplain and form up outside the church, on the sidewalk, in two ranks, facing inwards with four paces between ranks (Section 2, Figure 11-2-4), with the senior farthest from the church.
- Honorary pallbearers shall salute as the casket is carried through the ranks, and remain at the salute until the casket is secured on the gun carriage or in the hearse.
- When the casket has been secured on a gun carriage, the honorary pallbearers shall turn outward facing the carriage, and move in slow time to their positions. If the casket has been placed in a hearse and the honorary pallbearers will be travelling by vehicle, they shall move slowly and formally to their vehicles.
- The insignia bearers shall follow behind the casket, carrying the insignia cushions.
- When the casket is placed in a hearse, the insignia bearers shall place the insignia cushions on the foot of the casket in the hearse and proceed to their vehicles with the honorary pallbearers.
- On arriving at the graveside with a hearse, the insignia bearers shall proceed to the hearse, pick up the insignia cushions, step back and wait for the casket to be removed, then proceed to the grave following the casket. When the casket is placed on the grave, the insignia bearers shall place the insignia cushions between the headdress and the hilt of the sword or bayonet, step back, salute, then take up a position with the chief mourners.
- On arriving at the graveside, the honorary pallbearers proceed to the hearse, forming in the same order relative to it as when the transfer of the casket took place and salute the casket as it is being removed from the hearse.
- Honorary pallbearers then shall step off in slow time, on either side of the casket, on the command of the commander of the bearer party and proceed toward the grave, taking up their positions beside the graveside (see Section 2, Figure 11-2-6).
SECTION 4 THE UNLOADING OF A CASKET FROM AN OVERSEAS AIRCRAFT
- Whenever the remains of a deceased member of the Canadian Armed Forces are returned by aircraft from overseas to Canada for burial, a bearer party shall be mounted for unloading the remains in Canada.
Remains are loaded onto an aircraft with the head oriented forward. As airplanes fly with a nose-up attitude this prevents embalming fluids from pooling in the head of the deceased (see CFACM 7-400 (1), Chapter 4, section 2, paragraphs 3 and 4).
- If requested by the country concerned, a similar bearer party shall be mounted to load the remains of a member of an Allied armed force who died in Canada onto an aircraft for shipment overseas. The demands of common courtesy shall be the guide.
- No band shall be in attendance.
- The transference of a deceased from one mode of transport to another does not constitute a part of the ceremonial procedures established to honour a deceased service member. Therefore, guards should not be mounted to receive or pay compliments to the deceased. This does not preclude the attendance of military officials who will pay compliments.
COMPOSITION OF THE BEARER PARTY
- The composition of the bearer party may vary to suit local conditions, but it shall consist of not less than one non-commissioned officer and eight corporal/privates.
POSITION OF THE BEARER PARTY
- The escort officer or the unit liaison officer will arrange for the casket to be removed from the aircraft by mechanical or other means. The position of the bearer party may vary to suit local conditions, but shall be as agreed upon by the party commander and the escort officer before the remains are removed from the aircraft. If possible, the casket or shipping case should be draped with the National Flag before it is removed from the aircraft.
- Generally, the bearer party shall position themselves in two equal ranks, one on either side of the aircraft hold or ramp, or to the rear of the lifting device if the casket must be removed by mechanical means from the aircraft.
- The escort officer shall position himself near the casket in order to direct removal of the body from the aircraft.
- The bearer party commander shall position himself on the right flank of the party facing towards the front of the aircraft.
- Visiting officials shall position themselves midway between the aircraft and the funeral hearse or transport vehicle.
REMOVAL OF THE CASKET
- If the casket is to be removed by mechanical means, the air movements detachment will direct removal of the body to a place in front of the bearer party for transport to the hearse or vehicle.
- If the casket is to be removed by hand, the bearer party will assist the air movements detachment or local authorities to remove the casket and place it in the hearse or vehicle.
- The casket shall be lifted and carried to the waiting vehicle as described in Section 3.
- The escort officer and all visiting officials shall salute on the command LIFT by the bearer party commander and the salute shall be terminated when the casket is placed in the hearse. When moving off the runway, if the hearse or transport vehicle passes the escort officer or visiting officials, they shall salute again as the vehicle passes.
SECTION 5 BURIAL OR SCATTERING OF ASHES AT SEA
BRINGING REMAINS ON BOARD SHIP
- The guard and bearer party shall be formed up in two ranks facing inwards, on the jetty (Figure 11-5-1) when the gun carriage or hearse moves to the ship’s gangway. The ship’s ceremonial side party shall be formed on the forward side, at the head of the gangway.
- As the gun carriage or hearse approaches, the guard shall present arms and remain at the present arms as the casket is removed. After shouldering arms, the guard shall follow the bearer party on board. As the casket is brought on board, the ceremonial side party shall pipe the side.
- Whenever possible, the casket shall be positioned onboard so that it is fore and aft, with the foot of the casket forward.
- The guard is formed in two ranks at the head of the casket in an athwartship (lateral) position. The guard rest on arms reversed until the mourners are onboard.
- During the passage to sea, four members from the guard shall be detailed as the vigil. They are positioned at each corner of the casket, facing outwards, obliquely, resting on their arms reversed.
- Prior to the ship’s arrival at the burial position, the vigil is dismissed and the casket moved to the launching ramp by the bearer party. Prior to being placed on the launching ramp, the accoutrements are removed from the casket.
- The bearer party remains on either side of the casket when the casket is in position, maintaining their grip on the handles. They shall ensure that the holes in the casket are concealed by the flag.
- The guard is formed up, fore and aft, facing outboard, in two ranks, resting on their arms reversed. The guard commander is in the rear and the ceremonial side party on the right of the guard.
- At the commencement of the service, all military personnel, except the guard and ceremonial side party, shall remove headdress.
- Upon completion of the service, the chaplain shall take one pace back. On this signal, the guard commander shall give the cautionary word of command GUARD and pause to allow all personnel to replace headdress before ordering PRESENT – ARMS.
- The guard shall present arms from the position of rest on your arms reverse. On the last movement of the present arms, the bearer party shall commit the body to the sea while all officers and personnel not under command shall salute. Simultaneously, the ceremonial side party pipes “Side” and, after a 10 second pause, “Carry On”. Salutes shall be maintained during both calls and the interval between. Following the “Carry On”, the guard shall be ordered SHOULDER – ARMS, then dismissed.
- Floral tributes are dropped in the sea on completion of the service.
Figure 11-5-1 Arrival at Ship’s Side
SCATTERING OF ASHES
- The cremation having been completed as noted in Section 2, the ashes are conveyed to the ship by the chaplain. The ship then proceeds to sea to the prearranged position. The ship’s ensign is lowered to half-mast.
- The service is read and at the appropriate moment, the ashes are scattered over the leeward side. The ship’s ensign is then hauled close-up, and the ship proceeds.
- The ship’s company attending the service remove headdress before the service begins.
SECTION 6 PROCESS FOR THE CEREMONIAL FOLDING OF THE NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA
- The Flag should be held taut in an outstretched manner. Although the preferred and easier way of folding the flag is done with 8 persons the same process can be accomplished with 6 persons should a formal Flag-folding ceremony required. The individuals face each other as illustrated.
Step 1: Persons 2, 4, 6 and 8 stand fast holding the flag taut. Persons 1, 3, 5 and 7 initiate the first movement by passing the sewn edge under to their facing colleagues. On the words of command PREPARE TO FOLD – FOLD persons 2 and 8 will slide their right and left hands respectively toward the centre outer edge of the flag, simultaneously sliding their left and right hand and grasping the corners of the flag. Persons 1, 3, 5 and 7 grasp the flag along the folded edge (what is normally the centre of the flag) ensuring the flag remains taut.
Step 2: The fold in step 1 is repeated, resulting in a quarter of the flag in full length (the tip of the maple leaf shall be facing up).
Step 3: On the words of command PREPARE TO FOLD – FOLD persons 7 and 8 bring their end forward in an upward motion to persons 5 and 6. This fold is done over the hands of the others. Persons 3, 4, 5 and 6 guide the flag and ensure it remains taut. Persons 7 and 8 step back and remain at attention in their original positions.
Step 4: On the words of command PREPARE TO FOLD – FOLD the fold in step 3 is repeated and persons 5 and 6 step back.
Step 5: On the words of command PREPARE TO FOLD – FOLD persons 3 and 4 fold the flag under holding it taut. Persons 3 and 4 step back.
Step 6: On the words of command PREPARE TO FOLD – FOLD persons 1 and 2 fold the flag over holding it taut, resulting in the final form ready for presentation.
It is important to note that the above-mentioned method for folding the flag is to be used for ceremonial presentations and is not intended to be the official method used on a routine daily basis. When flags are lowered or removed as a part of a normal procedure, they are simply folded with quiet dignity.
Figure 11-6-1 Flag folding procedure
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