Planning a commemorative service

Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Australian Government has cancelled overseas Anzac Day ceremonies for 2020 on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey, near Villers-Bretonneux in France, including the Australian service at the ‘Digger’ Memorial, Bullecourt, Hellfire Pass in Thailand, Sandakan in Malaysia and Isurava in Papua New Guinea.

The Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial will be broadcast live; however, will not be open for public attendance.

Follow Government health advice when considering your commemoration options for Anzac Day.

Lest We Forget.

For a local service 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.

Protocols and procedures for the day

The program for an event should be tailored to your audience and your local community:

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)

Read about the symbols of commemoration, including the Ode of Remembrance, The Last Post and the catafalque party.

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