Interfaith 9/11 Prayer Vigil Calls for Tolerance Between Religions

09/12/2011 19:28

Urban Christian News:  Hundreds gathered in Washington Sunday to share an interfaith moment together in remembrance of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The morning vigil service, planned over months by staff at the Washington National Cathedral, integrated chants, prayers, music and traditions from across the religious spectrum.

The event was one of several organized by the Washington National Cathedral over the weekend.

"We feel like our events say to the world that faith is an element [of commemorating 9/11]," said Steven Schwab, spokesman for Washington National Cathedral.

The service originally was scheduled to take place in the iconic National Cathedral, but was moved to the Washington Hebrew Congregation due to damage from the recent Washington-area earthquake.

However, the cathedral was not without a role. The large Bourdon Bell in the Cathedral's bell tower rang in time with bells at the temple - a series of somber chimes marking the moment of impact at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

A reading during the service mentioned the biblical Tower of Babel and subsequent scattering of peoples and languages over the earth.

Other readings, prayers, and reflections contemplated love, conflict, grief, and the idea of finding a single truth in differing viewpoints.

"These attitudes and relationships have a crucial bearing on justice. Justice is not about following the law. It's about how we treat each other," said local Hindu leader Dr. D.C. Rao.

"Without understanding and respect, there can be no justice."

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