Even when you do not fight, being a chaplain was no easy job. They were usually the ones that the dying soldiers would see and hear last as they administered the last rites of their dying comrades. Most of the time, the chaplains would also die while performing their duties on the battlefield. Chaplain Father Lawrence Edward Lynch was one of those who lived and died while fulfilling his duties in the chaotic warzone.

Military Chaplain

The title of “chaplain,” although referring to the representatives of the Christian faith, was no longer exclusive to that religion. Many other religions or philosophical traditions also apply, like Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Then there is also Magick and Spiritualist, Wicca, and Unitarian Universalist, to name a few.

The very first appearance of chaplains in the military could be traced back to the 8th century when the English military-oriented chaplains boarded proto-naval vessels. On the other hand, the land chaplains were first known during the reign of King Edward I. For the military chaplains that we now know, they were first used in World War I so that the soldiers dying in the field could still receive their rites and boost the morale of the living. War is a terrible business of death and killing often attenuated by atrocities as well. The role of the chaplains in military services was to remind soldiers of their religious beliefs and morals to guide their personal conduct in doing their duty.

Depending on which country they were from, chaplains could be army-trained soldiers with theological training or nominated and ordained by the religious authorities of the army.