There has been a lot of traffic to the three stories that we have posted regarding the participation of both the facility of The National Cathedral and the Cathedral’s Choir of Men, Boys & Girls. All three stories are up on the Café’s blogsite and also posted to our Facebook page. All six locations have scores of comments, mostly against the choir’s participation in the Inauguration of Donald Trump, and fewer in favor of the participation. There have been some points that folks appear to have missed in the statements made by the various ecclesiastical leaders regarding the participation.
Some folks who have seen the program for the Inauguration have asked where the Cathedral choir will be singing. To be clear, Dean Hollerith has stated that the choir was invited by the Inauguration Committee to provide a musical prelude to the civic ceremonies. He said the choir would be singing three or four songs but at the time of her statement they had not yet been determined.
Some, in their comments, have been hoping that the post-inauguration prayer service, to be held in the National Cathedral, might at least be a moment of prophetic call to the new administration. In an article in yesterday’s Washington Post, Bishop Budde was quoted as stating that Donald Trump had requested that there be no preaching at the service.
This is not the occasion that we will use to address particular issues of policy or concerns we might have about the direction he’s taking the country. The scriptures and the prayers will include clear directives about Jesus’s command to love your neighbor.
There’s a lot of guidance and even prophetic truth in simply gathering and setting your sights to sacred texts in how we’re to live as a society. We will then get more specific about how we’ll engage in public life when the situation calls for it.
The Rt Revd Mariann Budde
The Episcopal Diocese of Washington
It is also being reported by some who have called the Cathedral to protest the situation, that if you listen to the lengthy outgoing message, the prayer service is not open to the public. It is a private event that requires tickets which are being distributed by the Inauguration Committee.
I made the main image to illustrate this story.