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National Cemetery Administration

Committal Service Shelter

Normal operations at national cemeteries provide for away-from-gravesite interment services. These services are held in a sheltered area, visually isolated from the administrative, maintenance and burial operations. It is desirable to have the complex of shelters within close proximity to the Administration/Maintenance facility.

The shelter is considered a facility that serves the family and friends of one veteran at any given time and is not intended to be a focal point or strong visual element of the total cemetery experience. Each shelter should accommodate approximately 60 funeral attendees and one casket per service. Larger numbers of attendees should be accommodated by "overflow" paving and adjacent turf areas.

Locate the shelters far enough apart to preserve privacy of an individual service, yet close enough to combine service access at the rear of shelters for removal of caskets. The design of the shelters should reduce the impact of all operational procedures on the families. Site the shelters, utilizing existing terrain, trees and vegetation, to obscure views between shelters and the service access.

Design the building so it is relatively simple and consistent in style and materials with the Public Information Center and Administration/Maintenance building(s). The building is a covered structure, which is open or partially enclosed on the sides and provides limited shelter from wind, rain and sun. Provide a limited amount of storage at the shelter to hold a broom, a shovel, twelve stacking chairs and two biers.

Provide an area for an honor guard of approximately seven members to stand adjacent to the shelter. The shelters should provide an intimate experience for visitors where individual thoughts are not distracted by the surroundings. Do not provide heating or air conditioning. Determine the feasibility of providing electrical power and plumbing to the shelters. Dedicated committal service shelter drives or pull-offs provide parallel parking for interment services.

Relationship Diagram Committal Service Shelter Relationship Diagram

Committal Service Shelter

  • No personnel assigned to this area
  • Individual interment services are conducted here
  • Conference


  • Funeral arties, families, and clergy
  • Cemetery representatives and maintenance staff
  • Volunteer Honor Guard

Related Areas

  • Active Burial Section(s)
  • Cortege Assembly Area
  • Committal Service Parking Pull-off
  • Public Rest Rooms

Special Requirements

  • No mechanical heating or cooling
  • Hose bib on exterior of building
  • Lockable closet for storage of equipment:
    • Folding bier, 600 millimeters x 600 millimeters x 1050 millimeters (24 inches x 24 inches x 42 inches)
    • Portable bier (Casket carrier), 625 millimeters x 1800 millimeters x 625 millimeters (25 inches x 72 inches x 25 inches)
    • Stacking chairs (12)
    • Broom
    • Built-in shelf for sound system, 120 volt duplex receptacle
  • Built-in speakers for sound system