The interfaith service, including voices of faith from several Christian denominations, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism, will bring Americans together to pray for the nation and for the second term of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The service, which is for invited guests, will also be webcast live at http://www.nationalcathedral.org.
“We are so blessed to be joined by leaders of many faiths for this prayer service to lift up our nation and our president,” said the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral. “To have represented the diverse faith perspectives of America within the Cathedral’s nave is a sign of the distinct role that people of faith have to play in our national discourse and policy decisions.”
Joining Dean Hall in welcoming the president and invited guests will be the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will participate as well, offering a prayer for the nation.
The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, has been selected to offer the sermon. It will be Hamilton’s first sermon delivered from the Cathedral’s historic Canterbury Pulpit.
Musicians participating in the service include the “President’s Own” Brass Ensemble of the U.S. Marine Band, and the Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Canon Michael McCarthy. Soloist Wintley Phipps and Washington Performing Arts Society’s Children of the Gospel Choir, who both participated in the 2009 prayer service, will sing anthems.
Beginning with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first inauguration in 1933, presidential inaugural prayer services have taken place at the Cathedral. That tradition has been more recently consistent since President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration in 1985. The exception was President Bill Clinton, who chose Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, the historic black church in downtown Washington, for both of his inaugural prayer services.