The Chaplains Handbook Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Information - Prayers – Guidelines Aug. 2021 1 CONTENTS Page 3 – A Brief History of the Chaplaincy Page 5 - The Chaplain Page 5 - The Purpose of the Chaplain Page 5 – The Work of the Chaplain Page 6 – What the Chaplain Provides Page 6 – Where to Begin Page 7 – When a Crisis Happens Remember A-B-C Page 8 – Handling Difficult Situations Page 8 - Public Occasions Put the Chaplain Center Stage Page 10 - The Reading of the Prayers Page 11 – Offering Prayers in Public Page 12 – Prayers for Various Occasions  Invocations p. 12  Benedictions p. 14  Banquet Prayers p. 15  Loyalty Day Prayers p. 17  Memorial Day Prayers p. 18  Independence Day p. 20  Veterans Day Prayers p. 20  Pearl Harbor Day p. 21  Memorial Prayer for Departed Comrade p. 21  Members of the Armed Forces p. 21  Medal of Honor p. 22  Korean War Remembered p. 22  Vietnam War Remembered p. 22  Hospital Prayers p. 22  Prayers for the Sick p. 23 Page 23 – Funerals and Memorial Services  Questions and Answers p. 23  Funeral Planning p. 24  Helpful Information p. 24 2    Conducting a Funeral/Memorial Service p. 25 Templates for a Funeral/Memorial Service p. 25 Template for Memorial/Committal Service p. 29 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHAPLAINCY During times of turmoil and war, mankind always looks to religion and religious figures for comfort. Both ancient and modern societies have turned to religion and communities have extended the comfort of religion to those serving in the heat of battle. Priests and other religious figures petitioned gods and spirits for victory in war. The Scriptures often refers to priests accompanying troops into battle. (see: Deut. 20: 2-4; Joshua 6: 2-5). The modern chaplaincy’s roots and origin are essentially in the medieval church. The word chaplain dates from this period. A fourth century story tells of the pagan Roman soldier called Martin of Tours. As Martin and his men were returning from the battlefield in the middle of a severe winter, they met a shivering beggar at the city gate of Amiens. Martin had compassion on the beggar. He cut his own cloak in two parts and gave one to the beggar. That night Martin had a vision of Christ wearing the beggar’s cloak. As a result, Martin converted to Christianity. Martin’s commitment to Christianity enraged Emperor Julian by saying, “Hitherto I have served you as a soldier; allow me now to become a soldier to God.” The Emperor later released him from the army. He was baptized and in 371, the people of Tours were so impressed by his holy life and miracles, they made him their Bishop. Martin of Tours later became the patron saint of France and his cloak, considered a holy relic, was carried into battle by Frankish kings. This cloak was called in Latin the “cappa.” Its portable shrine was called the “cappalla” and its caretaker priest, the “cappellanus”. Eventually, all clergy affiliated with the military were called “capellani,” or in French, “chapelains, hence chaplains. The Council of Ratisbon (742), first officially authorized the use of chaplains for armies, but prohibited “the servants of God” from bearing arms or fighting. However, religious figures in this era often went into battle as fighting men with the army. The conflict between the religious function and the military role can be seen in the career of the patron saint of military chaplains, St. John Capistrano, who besides serving as a Church Diplomat led the army at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456. This European tradition extended to colonial America where the chaplain both fought alongside and ministered to his neighbors in the militia. The tradition in colonial America of the fighting chaplain began changing. After the Civil War, chaplains were no longer permitted to carry weapons. And today, chaplains are supposed to be issued a Geneva Convention Identity Card. Chaplains are ordained clergy, endorsed by their faith group to serve all people, regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation. THE UNITED STATES MILITARY CHAPLAINCY THE ARMY: Chaplains had no role in the United States Army until 1791. However, colonial military units were usually formed from local communities and congregations. Clergymen frequently joined the units and often led them in battle. A number of New England clerics served at Concord. Some even shouldered their muskets and fought along side their fellow soldiers. The first appointed Army Chaplain was Rev. John Hurt

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