The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Message from the Chaplain
The Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin

Photograph of The Reverend Daniel P. CoughlinTo serve as Chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives is truly an honor and a privilege. To be both a minister of the Lord and an officer serving the United States government responds to a twofold call to serve others and offer prayer that unites Heaven and Earth.

With 435 Members in the House and their staffs, plus all the other wonderful people who serve here with committee work or in the Chamber, including teenage Pages, my pastoral duties are many and varied. My goal is to meet the needs of this working community on a personal level. The problems that weigh on hearts and the confusion that at times blocks clarity of thinking become my concerns.

The formal prayer before each legislative session of Congress, and even before days of pro forma sessions, casts a light on the day that awakens faith and calls forth a nation to stand with its leaders and affirm: “In God We Trust.” But daily prayer for the Members of the House cannot end there.

I ask people across this great country to join me in praying for the Members of the House of Representatives. Know the Member of your congressional district by name and raise his or her name before God each day with us here in the nation’s capital.

Pray for me, also, that I may be always rooted in prayer and a good instrument for accomplishing God’s holy will here. Only by being free in the Spirit can I serve all the people here, regardless of their faith persuasion or denomination. Only by listening attentively to each person can I offer good counsel, encouragement, and gentle correction.

Thank you for your interest in and support of the Members of the House.

Opening Prayer

Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin

Lord God, in You is light and salvation. Because You have compassion on our darkness, we always live with expectations of a new day. Be ever present and shed Your light upon the Members of Congress.

When confronted by the complexity of problems to be addressed, grant single–mindedness and focus on justice. When confused by many voices of concern and advice, let the truth of Your Word be heard. When aware of limitations and the passing of time, provide patience and understanding of others and the ability to seize the present moment to accomplish Your Holy Will. For You are ever–faithful, God with us, now and forever.


Thought of the Day

“General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America


WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY–SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;–– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;–– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;–– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;–– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New–York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty–nine.

(signed) G. Washington

—George Washington

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