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St. Luke's Nurse Honor Guard

Nurse Honor Guard

Honoring those who have dedicated their lives to the profession of nursing.

Nursing is a profession steeped in tradition. We use these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect for those who have given so much and who have served so well in our community.

St. Luke’s University Health Network has established a Nursing Honor Guard to recognize men and women who have dedicated their professional lives to nursing. The honor guard will pay tribute to any retired or active nurse at the time of their death at Funerals or Memorial Services.

Services Provided by the Nursing Honor Guard

Any of the traditions listed below can be requested for the visitation, Service of Remembrance, funeral or burial service. Services are performed by one to four members of the Nursing Honor Guard and are offered free of charge.

  • Honorary Pallbearers - The Honor Guard may be requested to attend the visitation and/or funeral services to serve as honorary pallbearers.

  • Casket Honor Guard - The Honor Guard may be posted at the head of the casket, standing silently to give their last respects.

  • The Nightingale Tribute - The Nightingale Pledge and a nursing sonnet may be read during the services followed by the person placing the rose says, “(Name), we honor you this day and give you a white rose to symbolize our honor and appreciation for being our nursing colleague.”

  • Final Call to Duty - The Final Call to Duty may be performed during the services or at the gravesite. During the Final Call to Duty, the Nightingale Lamp is lit in the nurse’s honor, and the nurse’s name is called out as a request to report to duty. With no response, the nurse’s name is repeated twice more with the name request. After the third and final call, the nurse is announced as retired, and the lamp’s flame is extinguished. This is the final call for those who have served selflessly and given their lives for the good of their fellow man; their tasks are complete, their duties are done, they are going home.

Currently serving Lehigh, Luzerne, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.

To arrange for a tribute and verify availability, please contact: 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537) Option 4, then Option 1, and leave a message or email

Volunteer programs like the Nurse Honor Guard depend on the help of friends and supporters like you to keep going. Your generous support is a way to carry on your loved one’s legacy and thank them for their compassionate care.