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Gravestone Dedication Service

A suggested template

Written by Mike Mitchell


Think about producing a commemorative program that includes the US Pledge, CS Pledge, a program of speakers, Roll Call of Vets interred in the cemetery, Roll Call of vets receiving markers and a short history on their life and service. Programs can be distributed by 11 girls in white dresses, one for each of the Confederate States.

Chouse a large open space with a canopy of trees, some visually aesthetic location with a scenic back drop, such as a vista or next to a Confederate Monument.

Cut 2X4”s with beveled ends and prop up the stone. Anchor these into the ground with rebar or a tent stake to prevent them (or it) from slipping. If the stone faces east all the better. *(see end note1)

Set up any lectern or podium behind the stone and center it. Drape *( see end note 2) the stone with black fabric.

Pre-dig all holes the day before the service or very early in the morning the day of the service to preclude any unforeseen occurrences and there usually are! Have a posthole digger, shovel, leaf rake and large garbage bag or tarp for the dirt at the gravesite.

Start the service 10 minutes after the announced start time. Take this time to check on VIP seating and ensure speakers, MC, Chaplain, Commanders and others are in place, then take a deep breath and relax.
















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Gravestone Dedication Service

A suggested template

Written by Mike Mitchell

Master of Ceremonies (or Commander):


            US Pledge

            CS Pledge

            Introduction of VIP’s

            Introduce Chaplain


Chaplain:  We have heard with our ears, O God – our fathers have told us – what work thou didst in their days, in the time of old. Surely I will never forget any of their works. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. We call upon you, O Lord, in the day of trouble as thou sayest, “I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me.” Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the fountain of the world. Amen.


Mater of Ceremonies: Not for fame nor reward, Not for place or for rank, Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity, But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it, These men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all. This is their final Bivouac, their eternal sleep as they rest under this Hallowed Ground. “Strike the Tent”, for we will “cross over the river and rest under the shade of the tree.”      


Roll Call of Veterans interred in the Cemetery


Roll Call of Veterans receiving a marker

(OCR or UDC members in black mourning attire or 8 to 14 year old girls in white dresses with a blood red belt or sash can remove the drapes as the veterans name is called.)


Master of Ceremonies:  The earth hides their human frailties from our sight for ever. Soon we too will fold our hands in peacefull repose and lay down beside them. There shall be no awakening until the bugler plays Reveille and shall rouse the slumbering millions to answer to their names before the Great Creator of the Universe on Resurrection Day. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee that it might be displayed because of the truth.




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Guest Speaker  15 minutes

(descendants of the Veteran, WBTS historian or local historian,)


Master of Ceremonies:

House keeping

Introduction of Chaplain


Chaplain: Closing prayer.   Chaplains choice.


21 Gun salute

Taps – Bugler

Amazing Grace – Bagpipes








** This service can be modified as needed for the installation of Southern Cross of Honor’s.


End Note:

* 1. “If the stone is facing east” In the Christian and Jewish Religion or Victorian era, God will come on resurrection day with the rising of the Sun. Those true believers chosen will be the first to see God’s face if they are facing east towards the sun.


*2. Black Drape.
















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