The annual 1916 Commemoration Mass is offered in the Church of the Defence Forces at Arbour Hill on the first or second Wednesday of May. The morning of Commemoration is attended by Uachtarán na hÉireann, members of the Oireachtas, invited guests and relatives of those who took part in the 1916 Rising.
A procession from the Church to the burial plot and memorial garden follows the Mass. During the brief prayer service conducted by the Head Chaplain to the Forces and leaders of various denominations, the plot is sprinkled with holy water. An Taoiseach invites Uachtarán na hÉireann to lay a wreath on behalf of the Irish people. A minute of silence is observed after which the National Colours are raised to full mast and the National Anthem is sounded.
The memorial garden was prepared to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. A low mound contains the remains of the 1916 leaders buried in what was once the prison yard of Arbour Hill. The surround of the grave carries the leaders’ names in Irish and in English. The curved wall of Ardbraccan limestone is the work of the sculptor Michael Biggs. It comprises a hand carving of the entire text of the 1916 Proclamation in Irish and in English.
On the prison wall opposite the gravesite is a plaque with the names of other people who gave their lives in 1916. The Memorial Garden is open to visitors every day from 09:00hrs – 16:00hrs.