3.30pm: The service has now concluded.
3.26pm: Dignitaries leave the service to the sound of piper Bruce Kenny, whose partner is the aunt of Brendon Palmer, one of the 29.
3.24pm: As the national anthem is sung, families and colleagues are laying ferns on tables laden with memories of the lost miners.
Others have been invited to lay ferns as they leave Otomo Racecourse.
3.23pm: Rev Mere Wallace is giving a blessing to the lost miners and Rev Mora asks the crowd to stand for the national anthem.
3.19pm: Rev Tim Mora says the miners' death was a tragic accident - not the result of fate or divine appointment.
He is encouraging the families of the lost men to turn to God to comfort them.
3.16pm: It is hard to know how tough the last two weeks have been for the families of the lost miners, Rev Tim Mora says.
He pledges the support of the community of the West Coast as they mourn their loved ones.
"We are not in this alone," Rev Mora says, as he tells of messages of support from as far away as China and Palestine. "The entire world is standing with us."
3.13pm: Rev Tim Mora reads from the Gospel of John, Chapter 11.
3.12pm Father John Morrison of St Patrick's Catholic Church leads a prayer.
3.08pm: You'll Never Walk Alone is being sung by Carolyn Williams, who taught lost miner Michael Monk when he was 11.
She remembers him as a "lovely boy".
3.06pm: The most devastating impact of the Pike River tragedy has been felt in the streets of the West Coast, says Mr Key.
"It has had by far the most impact in the kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms - some now empty - in homes only a few miles from here."
He has promised all New Zealand stands beside the communities in remembering the 29 men lost at Pike River.
"I hope the knowledge of the nation's support pulls you through," Mr Key told the victims' families. "We will remember them. Rest in peace.
3.03pm: Mr Key has delivered a personal message to the mothers worried their children will grow up without a father after the disaster.
"I was such a child, and I know the absence of a parent is a heaviness you have to carry in your own way. It is a terrible thing to carry but it does not mean your children will not go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
"Even if those children's memories of their fathers fade, his legacy will live on in each one of you."
3.01pm: Terry O'Kane has written in to share his experience of observing this afternoon's two minutes of silence:
"I was driving from Hamilton to Huntly where I live this afternoon and listening to the radio when at 1:59pm a large container truck in front of me pulled over and turned on his hazard lights. I did the same. On the other side of the road an Intercity bus and a small van also stopped and did the same.
"Together we all observed our two minutes silence in the shadow of Taupere Mountain. Today I'm proud to be a New Zealander.....Honour still exists!"
3.00pm: Mr Key has recalled the words of bus driver Tony Nicol, who said the miners were "unusually jovial" on the day of the disaster.
The miners would have looked after 17-year-old Joseph Dunbar, who was on his first day in the mine, he says.
2.56pm: Prime Minister John Key says all of New Zealand stands behind the West Coast.
"The stage I stand on today is a small stage.
"Too small to hold the four million New Zealanders who want to express their deepest sympathy this afternoon.
"Those four million people are behind you today as they have been since that fateful afternoon two weeks ago.
New Zealanders have been praying for the Pike River miners and their families since the first explosion on November 19, he says.
2.55pm: Carolyn Williams, who taught miner Michael Monk, sings the hymn How Great Thou Art.
It is often known as the "West Coast hymn", says Rev Tim Mora.
2.50pm: Everyone in the West Coast has been impacted by the Pike River disaster, says Mr Satyanand.
All the dead miners were someone's family, friend, work mate or acquaintance - all familiar faces, he says.
"The severing of all those connections in such dramatic circumstances has left a wound that may take years to heal.
"But it is that same sense of community... that will help this town and region to overcome its grief."
2.47pm: The messages from around the world are echoed by all New Zealanders, says Mr Satyanand.
He has paid tribute to the strength and hardiness of the coal miners lost at Pike River.
"Working underground in a mine is hard and difficult work. The men who died at Pike River endured those hardships to get ahead. To feed and clothe their families."
2.46pm: Messages from leaders from the Pacific and around the world are read out. Sir Anand says condolences have been received from leaders from Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Jordan. The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and the President of the European Union have also sent messages of support.
2.44pm: A message from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has expressed solidarity with the people of the West Coast.
"The nation is grieving with you at this dreadful and difficult time."
2.43pm: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offers her heartfelt condolences, read out by Sir Anand. "Today our thoughts and prayers are with you."
2.42pm: Governor-General Anand Satyanand has read out a message from Queen Elizabeth.
"My heart goes out to the families and friends of these 29 brave miners," she says.
She thanks those who are helping heal the pain felt throughout New Zealand and the world.
Prince Charles and his son Prince William also sent condolences, saying the West Coast is in their thoughts at this "difficult" and "desperate" time.
2.40pm: Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand is addressing the crowd assembled at Otomo Racecourse. He reads out messages of support from around the world, including one from the Queen and one from Prince Charles.
2.39pm: The Pike River miners are now in a better place, Mr Kokshoorn says.
"These brave men are now in a place where they will be loved forever. God rest their souls. May they rest in peace."
2.37pm: The families of the lost miners were united in their hope for the survival of their loved ones, says Mr Kokshoorn.
"Once more the bell tolls through this valley.
"Families were brought together 13 days ago by one word - hope."
That hope was tragically taken away on November 24 when a second explosion hit the mine, he says.
He has thanked all the West Coast people who came home in the wake of the disaster.
2.34pm: Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn addresses the mourners: "We are living through our darkest days." He says the West Coast is no stranger to tragedy. It has always been an area where nature rules.
2.29pm: Greymouth local Helen Wilson reads "We Will Live", her tribute to the solidarity and resilience of her community in the wake of the Pike River disaster.
2.25pm: St Patrick's Catholic Parish Choir sings Amazing Grace.
2.23pm: The names of the 29 miners are read out in a roll call of honour.
2.22pm: Mr Whittall has thanked police, Air New Zealand support workers, Greymouth Mayor Tony Kokshoorn and all New Zealanders for support through the disaster.
But his final thanks are reserved for the men still working "bloody hard" to recover the bodies of the men from the Pike River mine.
2.21pm: "Today is a day of remembrance, as every day will be from now on. While we mourn our lost mates, we're still working continuously to bring them home," says Mr Whittall.
2.19pm: Pike River CEO Peter Whittall addresses the crowd: "At 3.45pm on the 19th of November, our mine exploded and our lives changed forever. For five dayas, we hoped and prayed we would see our men again but with news of the second explosion, our hopes were dashed."
2.15pm: The Pike River tragedy has shaken the West Coast as much as the Strongman Disaster of 1967, Rev Tim Mora says.
But the area should be stronger and more resilient after going through the disaster, he says.
2.13pm: Rev Tim Mora first acknowledges families of the lost Pike River miners and dignitaries are also thanked for their attendance.
"Thank you for being with us. Thank you for standing with us at this time."
2.09pm: A kapa haka group sings Kawaiata, a Maori version of Ave Maria.
2.07pm: Rev Canon Mere Wallace says a karakia for the miners.
2.04pm: The Grey's District combined primary schools choir is now singing at the service.
2.03pm Bells tolled at Auckland's historic St Matthew in-the-city church to commemorate the Pike River miners at 2pm today. They rang out as people across New Zealand marked two minutes of silence for the lost men.
1.58pm: All trading on the NZ Stock Exchange will be halted from 2.00 to 2.02pm to observe the two minutes of silence in remembrance of the miners.
1.56PM: Prime Minister John Key has arrived at Omoto Racecourse for the service.
1.43pm: A letter expressing Nelson's "deep-felt sympathy" for the family and friends of the Pike River miners has been sent to Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn.
Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio is offering the support of his city to the people affected by the tragedy.
"It is a time to mourn, a time to reflect on our own lives, and a time to share and support each other.
"The Coasters are a tough lot, and they will be drawing together, but they will have the support of the nation."
Nelson City Councillors observed a minute's silence at the start of their Council meeting at 9am today.
1.41pm: Traffic to the racecourse is backed up all the way to Greymouth, and several hundred people are still waiting for buses to get to the service. There are reports that some people are leaving their cars and starting to walk to the racecourse.
1.39pm: The Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand and his wife have just arrived at the racecourse where they were greeted by Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn and the mayoress.
1.38pm: Several thousand people have now filled the racecourse and numerous MPs and city mayors have taken their seats on the main stage.
They include Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, Labour Leader Phil Goff, Mining Minister Gerry Brownlee, Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker.
1.34pm: During the service, the Governor-General will read out personal messages from the Queen and Prince Charles amongst others.
1.20pm: Police will give a briefing on the recovery effort at the Pike River Coal mine after today's remembrance service.
A "GAG" unit was in action at the mine today, with early signs showing it was successfully suffocating a coal fire raging inside.
The briefing by Superintendant Gary Knowles is scheduled for 5pm today at Greymouth Police Station.
1.13pm As the West Coast prepares to remember its lost, Auckland has announced its own memorial service to the Pike River miners.
Mayor Len Brown is appealing for Aucklanders to attend a service of remembrance at Parnell's Holy Trinity Cathedral at 7pm tomorrow.
It will be a chance to unite behind the families of the dead miners and the community of the West Coast, he says.
"It is simply a case of one community, Auckland, supporting another community, the West Coast."
The service will be open to anyone.
Condolence books for the miners have been placed in the Auckland Town Hall and in libraries across the city.
1.04pm: West Coast Labour list MP Damien O'Connor says the remembrance service will be an opportunity for the West Coast community to show their "solidarity and support" for the miners' families.
"It's an amazing exercise in West Coast unity and I hope we can follow it up with more positive celebrations," he said.
12:57pm: A brass band is playing You'll Never Walk Alone.
12:52pm: Organisers are expecting around 11,000 people to attend the service.
12.47pm: Today's 2pm service will include speeches by Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand and Prime Minister John Key as well as hymns, songs and poems.
12.43pm: New Zealand, Australian, British and South African flags beside the main stage are flying at half mast.
12.40pm: A kapa haka group from Greymouth High School is performing as hundreds start pouring into Omoto Racecourse in hot sunshine
12.36pm: 29 tables have been set up decorated with the possessions of each man who died in the tragedy.
- NZ Herald staff, NZPA::
3.30pm: The service has now concluded.