Christian, Protestant

Civil War Era

Chaplain Nicholas Davis of the 4th Texas Infantry Hood's Brigade

Chaplain Nicholas Davis of the 4th Texas Infantry, Hood’s Brigade was photographed wearing a very dark, presumably black, frock coat with a single row of gilt or brass buttons and a bit of non-regulation lace on the cuffs. Davis’ sartorial excess was no doubt attributable to the fact that he was a Presbyterian. This may be a studio portrait, but “altar” set-up could be similar to what a Protestant chaplain may use in the field with a Bible and two candles (photo from


World War 2 Era

The following chaplain kit was originally produced for either Catholic or liturgical Protestant, having a “reversible” cross with the corpus on one side and “IHS” symbol on the other. However, the owner of this kit removed the “IHS” symbol and put it above the corpus. This kit also includes the chalice with intinction insert, a ciborium, a lavabo bowl, paten, two candlesticks, two bottles (for wine and water) and a small container with individual cups, with most of the metal items being marked with “US.” (author’s collection).


WW2 Chalice Chaplain Kit

Here is how the above kit looks, complete. This one has the cross facing the Protestant direction, with the “IHS” symbol centered (photo courtesy of Chaplain Bob Nay).


These kits were generally provided to the chaplains by their endorsing agencies. In this kit (below) you see a very plain Latin cross with a tray with small individual cups for communion. This kit also come with a ciborium, two candlesticks and two glass jars for wine and water. For worship, the chaplain likely wouldn’t set the items on the case, but rather on an improvised altar using a Jeep hood, ammo or ration boxes (author’s collection).


Following is another kit like the one above, this one id’d to Chaplain Norman E. Edwards. Chaplain Edwards evidently received the kit when he was a Lieutenant Colonel then covered the “LTC” when he was promoted to Colonel. This particular kit is missing one of the jars, the cross stand and the individual cups but the items are in remarkably good condition considering the box suffered water damage as seen by the first picture of the case and the last picture of the inside (author’s collection).


Here’s another example like the ones above, but with a lavabo bowl. Also notice the bottle opener for opening the wine(?) or grape juice. This particular kit was used by Chaplain Howard D. Small (photo courtesy of Chaplain Bob Nay):




Below is a Protestant kit with a chalice (and no individual cups) for use by chaplains from more liturgical Protestant denominations. The long chrome tube held the hosts for communion. This particular kit is on display at the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Museum (photo by author).


WW2 chalice Protestant kit


Below is another kit like the one above, though missing the candlesticks. It belonged to Jesse Swinson who was a Navy Reserve chaplain who served on the U.S.S. Doyen in the Pacific during WW2 (which won 6 battle stars), then with the Marines in the Korean War (kit on loan to The Chaplain Kit from Chaplain Tiann Morgner):


Some kits, like the one below, were even more specific to a particular denomination’s eucharistic theology. This one was used by Chaplain Eugene Murray who was a Church of Christ Chaplain (note the “CC” on the cover). It has both a chalice and an individual cup communion tray (photos courtesy of Chaplain Bob Nay):


Sometimes chaplains procured smaller kits for hospital or prison visitation. The below kit was used by Chaplain Henry Gerecke as he ministered to the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials, including Hermann Goering. It is on display at the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Museum (author’s photo).


Below is another example of an individually-procured small kit, this one used by Chaplain George Wood (photo origin unknown):


The below kit used by Chaplain George King is another example of a type of smaller kit used by chaplains in WW2 (photos courtesy of Thomas Asher):

%d bloggers like this: