Planning a commemorative service
If you plan to host a local ceremony to honour the service and sacrifice of veterans, such as Anzac Day or Remembrance Day, you could follow our suggested Order of Service. When hosting an official or large service, follow the Australian Government protocols.
For a public event, please check the COVID-safe event planning advice for your state or territory.
Protocols and procedures for the day
The program for an event should be tailored to your audience and your local community:
- Think about who might attend.
- Plan to include everyone.
- Choose appropriate music (hymns, traditional pieces or contemporary songs).
- Choose suitable poems or short stories.
- Choose a good speaker for the commemorative address.
- Prepare a speech.
Try to involve veterans or current serving members from your local community. This will help to engage the audience, young and old.
Our suggested Order of Service will suit many commemorative events, including Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. You can adapt this program to suit your needs.
The service might take between 30 and 60 minutes from start to finish. We've given approximate times next to each part of the ceremony to help with planning.
Order of Service
Flags are lowered to half-mast before the event begins.
Welcome (2 minutes)
Mounting of catafalque party (1 minute) - if applicable
Hymns or other music (2 to 4 minutes)
Prayers and readings (2 to 5 minutes)
Commemorative address (3 to 5 minutes)
Wreath laying (3 to 5 minutes)
Ode of Remembrance (1 minute)
The Last Post (1 minute 22 seconds)
1 minute's silence (1 minute) - precisely at 11am for Remembrance Day
The Rouse (22 seconds) - plays while flags are slowly raised to the masthead
National anthem (1 to 3 minutes) - play anthems of all host countries if applicable
Dismounting of catafalque party (1 minute) - if applicable
Closing remarks (2 minutes)
The Ode of Remembrance, The Last Post and the catafalque party are important symbols of commemoration