January 14, 2009
Rabbis, Muslim, Archbishop to Pray at Inaugural Service
A Muslim woman, rabbis and a Catholic archbishop will pray at the Jan. 21 National Prayer Service which closes the inauguration, according to the Associated Press.
The Inauguration Committee has said that the Rev. Sharon Watkins will deliver the sermon at the event, but no evangelicals have been announced for that particular service yet.
A prayer will be offered at the National Cathedral by Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. The Islamic Society, based in Indiana, is the nation's largest Muslim group.
Three rabbis, representing the three major branches of American Judaism, will also say a prayer at the service, according to officials familiar with the plans. The Jewish clergy are Reform Rabbi David Saperstein, Conservative Rabbi Jerome Epstein and Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, sources said.
It is also traditional for the incoming administration to ask the Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington to lead a prayer. The Most Rev. Donald Wuerl leads the archdiocese.
Keep reading the story because Rachel Zoll frames the story in larger context. Some say Rick Warren could be the next Billy Graham, but Zoll writes, "No one has, or likely could, take [Graham's] place as 'America's pastor.'"