President Donald Trump and wife Melania attend the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral on Jan. 21. (Mark Mahoney)
President Donald Trump and wife Melania attend the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral on Jan. 21. (Mark Mahoney)

After a contentious inaugural address from President Donald Trump, he and Vice President Mike Pence began their first full day in office Saturday by attending an interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral in Northwest.

The traditional service brought over two dozen leaders of different faiths together, featuring prayers from Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus, with the hopes of blessing the world and the affairs of the new president.

The program opened with a traditional Native American prayer. Glynn A. Crooks, a leader from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux tribe, which is currently protesting construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, shared his views on Trump and his decision to attend.

“Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, during her run for presidency, made no mention of the Native Americans. President Trump, no mention of the Native Americans,” said Crooks, traditional dancer and eagle staff carrier. “There are over 500 and something Indian tribes across America, but it seems like we are always the last ones recognized, even though we were here first.”

Though many are skeptical of the new presidency and alarmed that Trump has already signed an executive order to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act, the prayer service served as a positive gesture, even if only temporary.

“Go forth from this place in peace,” said the Rev. Darrell Scott, senior pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland, in his closing prayer. “Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous and strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

As the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, the 110-year-old Washington National Cathedral still serves as a landmark house of worship. It has hosted the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan and prayer services marking the beginning of new administrations since before World War II.

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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