Chaplains of The United States House of Representatives - Duties

Duties

The Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives is chosen to "perform ceremonial, symbolic, and pastoral duties." These responsibilities include opening House sessions with a prayer or coordinating the delivery of the prayer by guest chaplains recommended by members of the House.

The House Chaplain is also responsible for "hosting" Guest Chaplains on the day they deliver prayers.

The Chaplain also provides pastoral care for members of Congress, their staffs, and their families, and provides or oversees religious programs such as Bible study, reflection groups, and the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast. The Chaplain also often presides over religious ceremonies such as funerals and memorial services for current or past members and participates, offering delivering the invocation or benediction, at many official U.S. ceremonies, including White House events. In a January 2011 post on "On Watch in Washington," the Chaplain of the Senate as well as the Chaplain of the House of were included as part of "Obama's Spiritual Cabinet."

Along with the Senate Chaplain, the Senate Chaplain is responsible for overseeing the Capitol Prayer Room, located near the Capitol Rotunda. Dedicated in 1955, there are no worship services held in the room, nor is it normally open to the public. Instead, as described by Sam Rayburn during the room's dedication, it is a place for members "who want to be alone with their God."

While all House Chaplains (as of 2011) have been Christian, Guest Chaplains have been selected to deliver occasional prayers to open House sessions "for many decades," and have represented both Christian and non-Christian faith groups, including Judaism and Islam. Congressional members are limited to one Guest Chaplain recommendation per Congress,

Read more about this topic:  Chaplains Of The United States House Of Representatives

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