PRESS RELEASE from Presidential Inaugural Committee 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           
Friday, January 16, 2009       
Contact: PIC Communications Office
Presidential Inaugural Committee Announces Participants of National Prayer Service
Leaders Spanning American's Faiths to Participate in Interfaith Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, as part of an Inauguration for all Americans, the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the spiritual leaders from the diverse array of our nation's religious traditions who will participate in the National Prayer Service on Wednesday, January 21st.    The National Prayer Service, a tradition dating back to the Inauguration of George Washington, will be held at the National Cathedral at the conclusion of the inaugural activities.    The service will include scripture readings, prayers, hymns and blessings delivered by faith leaders from across the United States.

"President-elect Obama's faith is a central part of his life and he will begin the first full day of his Administration with a service of interfaith prayer and reflection," said Presidential Inaugural Committee Communications Director Josh Earnest.  "The National Prayer Service, which will embody the themes of tolerance, unity and understanding, is a worship service for all Americans. "

The National Prayer Service will include a traditional prayer for civil leaders, a prayer for the nation, a selection by the Washington, D.C.-based Children of the Gospel Children's Choir, and, for the first time, feature a sermon delivered by a woman.

Reverend Samuel T. Lloyd III, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, will welcome attendees to the event, followed by the invocation of Reverend John Bryon Chane, Episcopal Bishop of Washington.

Reverend Otis Moss Jr., Senior Pastor Emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio will provide the opening prayer, followed by a prayer for civil leaders delivered by Reverend Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, Georgia.

Scripture readings will be provided by Dr. Cynthia Hale, Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church, Atlanta, Georgia as well as Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, New York City, and the Most Reverend Francisco Gonzalez, S.F., Auxiliary Bishop of Washington.  Rabbi David Saperstein, Executive Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Washington, D.C., has been asked to deliver a psalm.

Responsive prayers given by six leaders will symbolize America's traditions of religious tolerance and freedom:

--Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President, Islamic Society of North America, Hartford, CT
--Rev. Suzan Johnson-Cook, Senior Pastor, Bronx Christian Fellowship, New York City
--Rabbi Jerome Epstein, Director, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, New York City
--Rev. Carol Wade of the Washington National Cathedral
--Dr. Uma Mysorekar, President, Hindu Temple Society of North America, New York City
--Rev. Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners, Washington, D.C.
-- Rabbi Haskal Lookstein, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurunm, New York City
--Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, Senior Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Houston, TX

The service will conclude with a prayer for the nation delivered by Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., followed by a closing prayer provided by Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori, Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church USA and a benediction by the Reverend Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America

The Presidential Inaugural Committee previously announced that Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President, Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) will deliver the sermon.  

Press for this event is pooled.  Attendance is by invitation only and tickets are required.
For the latest information on the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, please visit