Reverend William Barber preached the sermon at Thursday’s inaugural prayer service, which featured a huge collection of interfaith leaders gathered via Zoom for a service held at the Washington National Cathedral. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris watched from their new White House digs as Patti LaBelle kicked things off with the National Anthem, warming the place up for more musical performances from Josh Groban and the Clark Sisters.
“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 Delaware State University President Tony Allen, CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Prayers were offered from people like Sojourners’ Jim Wallis, IKAR Senior Rabbi Sharon Brous, Navajo Nation President and First Lady Jonathan and Phefelia Nez, Fuller Theological Seminary Professor Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Unifour Church Reverend Rob E. Lee (descendant of the Confederate general!), author Jen Hatmaker and tons more.
You can watch the whole thing here, and Barber’s homily begins around the 57:50 mark.