Details of the Inauguration Day Liturgy

The Pastoral Associate for Liturgy and Director of Music at St Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, Tom Stehle, has shared some of the details of the liturgy that marked the beginning of inauguration day for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

I welcome this sharing (the article appeared in the National Catholic Reporter as part of their election coverage). Most of our secular media remain clueless about liturgy and wouldn’t even know what questions to ask, so it was good to see a fuller account of the texts and the musical selections from someone who knows what went into the planning.

Under pandemic restrictions, the music was necessarily limited in congregational song, yet it was rich in other respects and it seems to me that the experience on the whole would have been warmly accessible to this diverse assembly. In terms of spoken texts, the Eucharistic Prayer from “Masses for Various Needs: Jesus, Who Went About Doing Good” seems to me particularly well-chosen. The intercessions also were spot on, covering a lot of ground with admirable clarity and sobriety. The readings have already been noted at Pray Tell and at America, but there is more detail in this account.

You can read it all here.


  1. It’s great to see a practicing Catholic in the White House, and the music and texts for the Mass only show what a shining example he will be. To begin his inauguration day with the Eucharist proves he will keep the Lord as his guide throughout. Thanks for showing this!

  2. Thank you! This posting is a great service to the Catholic community. Many of us had not even known there was to be an inaugural mass. May the Lord bless the new administration in its work for justice.

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