Invocations are prayers at the beginning of meetings that are normally done by a chaplain or minister. They are performed asking for guidance or success from a higher power. They can be religious, non-denominational or secular in nature.
Invocations are done at a variety of gatherings. These prayers are commonly said at business or governmental meetings, support groups, large family get-togethers and church functions. The majority of invocations done outside of churches are non-denominational and respectful of all religions. In recent history, secular invocations have become common. Although there is quite a bit of controversy regarding secular comments before meetings, the practice is becoming more widespread.