Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elpidophoros of America will participate among dozens of national religious leaders in a virtual national prayer service on Thursday, January 21, at 10:00am EST following the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
According to an announcement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee and Washington National Cathedral, Biden will join the virtual event which will be live-streamed on the president-elect’s inauguration website and the cathedral’s website.
“It is a distinct honor to join with other faith leaders from around the country, and pray to our Merciful and Loving God for our new president and vice president,” Archbishop Elpidophoros said in a statement. “This venerable tradition is a concrete example of how we can unite as a nation in prayer for our elected leaders. In joining our intercessions with other Americans of different beliefs and customs, we affirm the essential nature of our American democracy as a place of freedom of conscience and faith. Let us all pray for the health and success of our new president and vice president, that our land may heal and our country unite.”
The event program includes prayers, readings, blessings and hymns from interfaith leaders, artists and other public figures. The customary interfaith service dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington.
“The National Prayer Service is an important tradition for our nation and for President Biden, who has always been a man guided deeply by his faith,” Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen said. “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.”
Bishop William J. Barber II will deliver the homily and the program will feature remarks from religious leaders and musical performances from Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle and The Clark Sisters.
“This cathedral is a house of prayer for all people and a sacred space where America gathers in moments of deep significance,” said Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral. “We are honored to welcome the nation to pause, give thanks and seek God’s help in the hard work ahead.”
With five days of programming, “America United” inaugural activities will honor traditions while allowing more Americans than ever before to participate from home.
Activities include “United We Serve,” a National Day of Service on January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day; a nationwide COVID-19 Memorial to Lives Lost on January 19; and the official Inaugural Ceremonies, a wreath laying on Arlington National Cemetery, and a “Parade Across America” on January 20.
The events will culminate with the “Celebrating America” program. The Presidential Inaugural Committee will also install a public art display called “Field of Flags” which will cover the National Mall up to 13th Street in honor of citizens who are unable to visit Washington D.C.
Additional details about inaugural activities will be released in the coming days. For the latest updates, visit the Biden inaugural website.
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