The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
A Unitarian Universalist Inauguration Prayer for 2021
By Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray on January 20, 2021
Introduction from Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, President & CEO of UUSC
On this day of ceremony and transition in the United States, I’m glad to share this prayer from my colleague the Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
UUSC partners and allies around the world have watched—and many have felt—the impact of the Trump administration’s policies. Partners and allies living under the oppressions of far-right nationalism and extremism were shocked by the violent insurrection attempt on the U.S. Capitol and the President’s seditious speech encouraging their behavior. At UUSC, we’ve been moved by expressions of solidarity and support coming to us from places like Burma and Honduras.
We join many in the hopes that our new leaders will shape and maintain a stronger democracy, upheld by a commitment to the human rights of all people. Further, we remain steadfastly committed to our own work, domestically and internationally, for the liberation of all people.
Today we recognize the significance of this Inauguration Day for our country—this is a threshold moment worthy of special attention and prayer.
We mark this day in the midst of one of the most precarious times in our country’s history. We are in a moment of transition, following a deeply corrupt and cruel administration that fostered dangerous disinformation in an attempt to hold on to power and attack the very foundations of our democracy.
And so on this Inauguration Day, we celebrate the voice of the people in choosing our elected leaders—we celebrate the voters, and all those who have worked so hard this past year to defend democracy by organizing for free and fair elections.
We celebrate ways that voting was more accessible—through mail-in voting, early voting in person, ballot drop boxes, simplified registration and multilingual ballots. As accessibility increased, people responded by casting ballots in historic numbers.
We offer gratitude for our democracy, even as we acknowledge its imperfections. The 2020 presidential election was the largest, most transparent election in this country’s history. Even in the face of intense voter suppression efforts there was an unprecedented turnout, reflecting the will of the people to make their voices heard. Far from being fraudulent, this was the most accessible, free and fair election in history.
Today, we recommit to the work of strengthening our democracy. In this pivotal moment, we must push back against disinformation that casts doubt on our electoral process, especially when it is weaponized to disenfranchise Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities. For all who believe in democracy, we must remain committed to organizing to protect the right of every citizen to vote and to ensure the accessibility, transparency and security of our elections.
And today, we pray for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and the administration they will build. There is so much repair and recovery needed, from slowing the spread of COVID, to combatting racist oppression, to supporting working people and combating poverty, to protecting immigrants and asylum seekers, to achieving LGBTQ+ equity and creating climate justice. Let us pray that their leadership be rooted in integrity, courage, boldness and a deep love for the people.
Today, and in the days to come, our prayers are with the President and Vice President and all our elected leaders as we cross this threshold into a new administration. May we, the people, continue to organize to ensure they center the needs of communities that elected them, as we all work to create a more perfect union.
Photo Credit: iStock – narvikk