Leaders to join Presiding Bishop for ‘Holding on to Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness’

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
Posted Oct 26, 2020

On the eve of a historic election and in the midst of pandemic and racial reckoning, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will call Americans together for a live-streamed prayer service from Washington National Cathedral. The Holding on to Hope service will be held on All Saints Sunday, November 1, at 4:00-5:30 pm EST, and viewers can join in a variety of ways.

Using a combination of live and pre-recorded elements gathered from across the nation, the service will feature an ecumenical and multifaith array of voices, musical offerings, and prayers designed to help the nation to confess, grieve, and hope as one. In addition to Bishop Curry’s sermon, the service will also include reflections from Father James Martin, a noted Roman Catholic author and commentator on American life and values; and Valarie Kaur, an inspiring Sikh filmmaker, author, and civil rights attorney.

“We hope people everywhere will light a candle and join us in prayer at this urgent moment in our national life,” Bishop Curry said. “As people of faith, we believe in the power of prayer and the power of God’s love to heal a nation and change this world.”

Special prayers for the nation will be offered by:

  • Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State and head of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
  • Shane Claiborne, best-selling author and founder of The Simple Way
  • Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core
  • Rabbi Shoshanah Conover, senior rabbi, Temple Sholom, Chicago
  • Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers
  • Dr. Cheryl Bridges Johns, leading ecumenist and professor at Pentecostal Theological Seminary
  • María del Mar Muñoz-Visoso, executive director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, trustee of the Sikh Council for Interfaith Relations and Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

The gathering will be officiated by Washington’s Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, Cathedral Dean Randy Hollerith, and Reverend Stephanie Spellers, canon to the presiding bishop for evangelism, reconciliation and creation.

Read more about the speakers and participants here. Information about the service is available here. More election-related resources for prayer and action are provided by the church’s offices for Government Relations, Social Justice and Engagement, and Evangelism.

Watch the service
Holding on to Hope will be live-streamed on these platforms:

A live-stream embed code is provided on the prayer service home page and available to any congregation that would like to add the stream to their website or Facebook page. Congregations are encouraged to host watch-parties in whatever way they are authorized to gather, online or in-person.

The service will be available on-demand shortly afterwards.

To receive a reminder about this service, text HOLDING to 51555 (standard messaging and data rates apply).

A live prayer hotline in English and Spanish will be open during the service, staffed by Episcopal clergy and chaplains available by telephone. Organized by the TryTank at Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary, the hotline will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST from November 1 to November 5.

Also available is The Good News of Lament, resources to help individuals, small groups, and congregations to move fully into honest lamentation and through toward hope. As the psalmist demonstrates, to lament is to cry out to God and name our pain, heartbreak, confusion, and frustration. There is Good News when we express our grief and keep moving toward hope and love. Find The Good News of Lament here.