The Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives is one of the officers of the United States House of Representatives. The House cites the first half of Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5 in the United States Constitution as giving it the authority to elect a Chaplain, "The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers".
The office of the Clerk of the House explains "The other officers have been created and their duties defined by the rules of the House, which also are made pursuant to the authority of the Constitution, hence one of the rules prescribes the duties of the Chaplain."
In addition to opening proceedings with prayer, the Chaplain provides pastoral counseling to the House community, coordinates the scheduling of guest chaplains, and arranges memorial services for the House and its staff. In the past, Chaplains have performed marriage and funeral ceremonies for House members.
Chaplains are elected as individuals and not as representatives of any religious community, body, or organization. As of 2011, all House Chaplains have been Christian but can be members of any religion or faith group. Guest Chaplains, recommended by congressional members to deliver the session's opening prayer in place of the House Chaplain, have represented many different religious groups, including Judaism and Islam.
The current House Chaplain is Fr. Patrick J. Conroy, S.J., the first Jesuit priest to hold the position. Conroy was sworn in May 25, 2011.
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... table represents a break-down by religion of past and current House Chaplains. 53) does not match the official number of House Chaplains, which as of 2011 is 60, because the numbers in this table represent individuals and some ...
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