Prayers and Faith at the InaugurationLots of interesting reviews out there of President Obama’s inaugural address yesterday. Most claim that it didn’t rise to the level of Obama’s most soaring speeches, but they agree that it did strike the appropriate tone for the occasion and the challenges that lie ahead for our nation.

Some of the most fascinating post-Inauguration analysis, however, is the play-by-play on the various Inauguration prayers and religious events.

Julia Duin of The Washington Times observed that Reverends Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery offered very different bookend prayers at the event. Pastor Warren came at it more from the evangelical tradition, complete with a circuitous “in Jesus’ name” tag at the end. Rev. Lowery’s prayer was steeped in the civil rights tradition from which he hails, and his sampling of the Negro National anthem for his intro and that potentially offensive joke toward the end made that clear. At, Lisa Miller provides an extended look at Warren’s prayer and the controversy that surrounded his participation.

The Associated Press gives a good overview of Warren and Lowery and their respective prayers, as well as the prayer service that the Obamas attended at St. John Episcopal Church prior to the swearing-in ceremony. Various evangelical ministers participated in that event, including T.D. Jakes, who delivered the sermon, and Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who gave the benediction. has a complete rundown of the service and its participants.

What did you think of the presence of religion in the inauguration? Were you in D.C. for the big event? Let us know your thoughts and reflections.

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