When during a funeral is a 21 gun salute and taps performed? Father-in-law should be receiving military honors but due to covid he will only receive flag. Was thinking about playing the salute over sound system. Need to know at what point to play and if it would be appropriate?
Please accept our condolences on the loss of your father-in-law.
Taps is generally played when the flag is lowered or after the committal service. It is quite common to use a recording.
The gun salute is a bit more complicated.
The 21-gun salute is reserved for US Presidents, ex-Presidents, and sovereign heads of state. The number of guns decreases with the rank of the recipient. Other factors, such as the branch of service, can also impact the number of shots. Deceased veterans are generally entitled to what is called a “three-round volley,” fired by rifles. These are less and less common. The Air Force, for example, no longer provides teams to conduct this practice.
We are not aware of anyone using a recording of the three-round volley and hesitate to confirm that a recording follows military protocol. Perhaps the VA, the American Legion, or the VFW could help in that regard. We feel sure, though, that you will be able to create a beautiful and meaningful ceremony that honors your father-in-law’s service and memory if a recording is not appropriate.