Chaplains of the House
(1789 to Present)
Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states:
"The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker
and other Officers."
The election of the Rev. William Linn as Chaplain of the House on
May 1, 1789, continued the tradition established by the Continental
Congresses of each day's proceedings opening with a prayer by a
chaplain. The early House Chaplains alternated duties with their Senate
counterparts on a weekly basis. The two conducted Sunday services
for the Washington community in the House chamber every other week.
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.
Two Chaplains also served as U.S. Representatives (indicated by asterisks)
either prior to or after their service as House Chaplain. By clicking on
their names, viewers will be linked to their individual biographies in
the online Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Date of Appointment