National Cathedral will host virtual presidential inaugural prayer service on Jan. 21

Posted Jan 19, 2021

[Washington National Cathedral] Today, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) and Washington National Cathedral announced the virtual presidential inaugural prayer service on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Then-President Joe Biden will join the virtual event hosted by the National Cathedral and the service will be livestreamed at with closed captioning and ASL interpretation provided.

The diverse program will include prayers, readings, blessings and hymns from faith leaders, celebrated artists and other inspiring voices who will come together to mark the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together and creates a path to a brighter future.

“The national prayer service is an important tradition for our nation and for President-elect Biden, who has always been a man guided deeply by his faith. The program announced today will honor the role of faith in our country and provide a moment to reflect on the unprecedented challenges we face as we enter this new American chapter of healing to beat the pandemic, build back our economy better and unify our country,” said PIC CEO and Delaware State University President Tony Allen.

The customary interfaith service, which dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington, will be entirely virtual this year to engage Americans safely. Bishop William J. Barber II will deliver the homily and the program will feature remarks from leading religious voices representing all walks of life and musical performances from Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle and The Clark Sisters. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will deliver the final blessing.

“This cathedral is a house of prayer for all people and a sacred space where America gathers in moments of deep significance, and we are honored to welcome the nation to pause, give thanks and seek God’s help in the hard work ahead. We thank President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris and all our leaders for beginning this work in prayer as we strive to become the people God calls us to be,” said the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral.

Additional participants in the service include:

● The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, diocesan bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington
● The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean, Washington National Cathedral
● His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
● Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, senior rabbi, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
● Rabbi Sharon Brous, senior rabbi, IKAR
● Jonathan Nez, president, Navajo Nation
● Phefelia Nez, first lady, Navajo Nation
● The Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners
● Sister Carol Keehan, former president and CEO, Catholic Health Association
● The Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ
● Debbie Almontaser, senior adviser, Emgage NY and president, Muslim Community Network
● Imam Azhar Subedar, IACC
● The Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, assistant professor of mission and global transformation, Fuller Theological Seminary
● Barbara Satin, faith work director, The National LGBTQ Task Force
● Anuttama Dasa, global minister of communications, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
● Valarie Kaur, Sikh American activist, author of “See No Stranger”
● The Rev. Gregory Knox Jones, senior pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church
● Bishop Vashti McKenzie, African Methodist Episcopal Church
● The Rev. Paula Stone Williams, author and pastor, Left Hand Church
● The Rev. Fred Davie, executive vice president, Union Theological Seminary
● The Rev. Robert W. Fisher, rector, St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square
● The Rev. Yvette Flunder, presiding bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
● Emma Petty Addams, executive director, Mormon Women for Ethical Government
● The Rev. Cynthia L. Hale, senior pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church
● The Rev. Jeffrey Kuan, president, Claremont School of Theology
● Robin Jackson, Brookland Baptist Church
● The Rev. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister, Middle Collegiate Church
● The Rev. Rosemarie Logan Duncan, canon for worship, Washington National Cathedral
● The Rev. Robert W. Lee, pastor, Unifour Church
● Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
● Jen Hatmaker, author, podcast host and speaker

Over the course of five days of programming, “America United” inaugural activities will honor our traditions while safely allowing more Americans than ever before to participate from their own homes. These activities include “United We Serve,” a national day of service on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day; a nationwide COVID-19 memorial to lives lost on Jan. 19; and the official inaugural ceremonies, a wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery and a “Parade Across America” on Jan. 20. The events will culminate with the “Celebrating America” program. The PIC will also install an extensive public art display — a “Field of Flags,” which will cover the National Mall up to 13th Street — to represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, D.C.