Figure 4-13.Deck plan for the burial of the dead at sea.
master-at-arms. As the casket/remains are
carried on deck for committal, Attention is
sounded. The body bearers, preceded by the
chief master-at-arms, carry the casket on deck.
All crew members in the area stand at atten-
tion and execute a hand salute as the cortege
passes on its way to the place selected for
the committal. When the remains have been
placed on deck at the committal site, the hand
salute is terminated and a sentry is posted
beside the casket until the burial service
The service should not be conducted between
sunset and sunrise, except under unusual cir-
cumstances. When it is necessary to bury the
dead at night, such funeral services as are prac-
ticable will be conducted. Any part of the service
may be omitted as necessary except that the
committal should be rendered if at all possible.
At the beginning of the burial at sea cere-
mony, the ship will be stopped if practicable.
The ensign should be displayed at half-mast
from the beginning of the funeral service until
the remains have been committed.
A Guide to the Burial Service
The ceremony for burial at sea is carried out
a. The firing squad, body bearers, and bug-
ler are stationed. A chief petty officer is
designated to take charge of the eight riflemen
who will fire the volleys. The chief master-at-
arms directs the body bearers during the service
until the flag is folded and delivered to the com-
manding officer. The assembled ships company
will respond to the orders given to the firing
squad regardless of whether they are separately
b. Officers call: The word is passed All
hands bury the dead, (The ship should be
stopped and colors displayed at half-mast.)
c. Assembly (figure 4-13).
d. Adjutants call: (Ships company is still
e. Ships company (not on watch) is brought
to parade rest.
f. Burial service (figure 4-14).
(1) The scripture (parade rest)
(2) The prayers (parade rest, heads
(3) The appropriate Protestant, Catholic,
or Jewish committal is read (attention, hand
salute) (figure 4-15).
After the committal is read, the body bearers
tilt the board until the body slides along the
board under the national ensign, overboard into