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, Architect of the Universe and Advocate for us all, each day is a blessing. When we rise from sleep activities of the day stir the mind. Having a job to fulfill sets us into routine as a people with purpose. Daily work, O Lord, invites us to demonstrate responsibility and manifests our participation in Your creative power. Mind and body together become engaged in productivity, sustenance, or service beyond ourselves.

Because we believe human work bestows a special dignity upon a person and a way to achieve a just society, we know how important it is for us to pray for the unemployed and their families.

Bless the work of Congress today. May this chosen labor be creative, prove responsible, have lasting results, and give You glory now and forever.


Thought of the Day

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when others dwell in unity. Psalm 133:1
O God, quicken our spirits so that we will know the blessings of living together in unity and peace. We have our personal aspirations and ideas of what is best, yet may we know the satisfaction from sharing our common concerns and experiencing the joy of mutual accomplishment.
Teach us to treat one another with respect and honor as we keep our vision to those noble objectives that are our common heritage. This we pray, O Lord. Amen.”

—Rev. James D. Ford
Past House Chaplain, 9/14/1979