On his first full day in office, President Obama is spending part of the morning at the Washington National Cathedral, placing his own stamp on the traditional National Prayer Service with a larger-than-usual group of interfaith religious leaders participating and newly written prayers meant to emphasize liberty and diversity.
....The list of 20 clergy participating includes Rev. Samuel Lloyd, dean of the Cathedral, which is the seat of the Episcopal church in Washington; prominent Baptist pastor Rev. Otis Moss Jr. (whose son is currently pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama's former church); Washington Catholic Archbishop Donald Wuerl; Rev. Jim Wallis of the progressive group Sojourners; and several well-known Jewish, Muslim and Greek Orthodox leaders.
The sermon will be delivered by Rev. Sharon Watkins, president of the Protestant denomination Disciples of Christ in North America and the first woman to have such a prominent role in the post-inaugural prayer service.
Other clergy will recite simple, responsive spiritual readings that were crafted by Obama's faith advisors and Cathedral staff.
Canon Carol Wade, who as the Cathedral's precentor oversees music and worship at the Cathedral, said that in accordance with tradition, today's prayers are based on the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and should sound similar to prayers given at services after the inaugurations of both Bush presidents and Ronald Reagan.
New touches to the service this year, said Cathedral officials, are prayers drawn in part from George Washington's 1789 post-inauguration prayer service and Abraham Lincoln's 1865 inaugural address. The latter includes the famous phrase "with malice toward none, with charity for all," which will be said as part of the closing prayer given today by Katharine Jefferts-Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Prayer service, the morning after
From the Washington Post: