PREPARATION FOR PROTESTANT DIVINE SERVICES
The term Protestant is used in this chapter to refer to Christian bodies
not otherwise identified as Orthodox or Roman Catholic. As a Religious
Program Specialist, you should only use the term Protestant in the most
general frame of reference. Specific terms such as Southern Baptist, United
Methodist, Unitarian Universalist, when applicable, are preferable and
should be used to identify the various non-Roman Catholic/non-Orthodox
Christian groups and their ministers. The National Conference on Ministry
to the Armed Forces (NCMAF) and the Department of Defense recognizes
over 100 Protestant denominations in the active duty chaplain roster. The
impossibility of describing specific requirements for each of these
denominations is recognized; however, there are specific denominational
requirements, worship needs, and tenets of faith for these groups to which
the Religious Program Specialist must be sensitive and responsive. The best
procedure for the Religious Program Specialist to follow concerning the
requirements for any particular denomination is to consult the chaplain.
Protestant Chancel Arrangements
To the degree practicable, you should help Protestant chaplains prepare
the chancel of the military chapel in such a way as to meet their respective
requirements. The items which may be used for Protestant divine services
will most likely include the same types of items found in the Protestant field
and combat kits. In some Protestant services, the pulpit (see figure 3-34),
may be placed in the center of the chancel. In other Protestant services, an
altar (see figure 3-35) may be used as the center point for the divine service.
For a Protestant service in which the altar is utilized as the focal point for
worship, it may be set up similar to the chancel and altar arrangement
described in the following paragraphs.
ALTAR.When the use of an altar is required to meet the Protestant
chaplains requirements, the following steps (as modified by the Protestant
chaplain) should be taken to prepare the altar.
Position the proper altar hanging cloth and fair linen on the altar;
then position the matching smaller cloths on the pulpit and the lectern.
Center the cross on the altar near the back of the altar. The IHS (if
such appears on the cross) should face the congregation.
Place two candles near the back of the altar, one on each side and at
equal distances from the cross. The candles may be placed on the rear
corners of the altar, or if flower vases have been placed on the altar corners,
you may place the candles between the vases and the cross.
NOTE: Some chaplains may use six single candlesthree on each side of
the cross. Others may use a seven-branch candlestick or candelabrum on
each side of the cross rather than single candlesticks. Most, however, use
only two single candlesticks.