Another view of the Inauguration

A young member of a Connecticut Episcopal parish has written up her eyewitness account of the Inauguration. She comments particularly on the crowd’s reaction to the various forms of prayers that were offered during the event.

I noticed a lot of references to faith and religion during the actual ceremony, the most obvious being the Rev. Rick Warren’s opening prayer. I was surprised at the bad reception when the prayer was first announced — most people looked around in a confused or tense manner and I even heard a “boo” from over my shoulder. Once the prayer began, I folded my hands and bowed my head, only to look up a few minutes later to realize that I was the only one. I was surprised when the crowd even cheered at the mention of President Obama’s name during the prayer, which I’m not used to.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the prayer, and some people, including me, began reciting the Lord’s Prayer along with Warren at the end. After the “Amen,” he received loud, enthusiastic cheers from the crowd, which cheered me up considerably. I then realized that perhaps Obama, as a president, could re-inspire those who had lost their faith to return to their religious communities. His influence could do a great thing for Christians and people of any religion. I also noticed that both Obama and Vice President Biden included “so help me God” at the end of their swearing-in. Although I am aware this is a tradition based on the words of George Washington, I was pleased with the boldness of the way they said it, like it had a true meaning rather than just words that they had to memorize.

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