Multi-faith 9/11 prayer vigil calls for tolerance
Rev. Samuel Lloyd, III speaks at an interfaith service to commemorate 9/11.
September 11th, 2011
12:56 PM ET

Multi-faith 9/11 prayer vigil calls for tolerance

By Mary Grace Lucas, CNN

Washington (CNN) - 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."

Mercy and tolerance were two other key theme as leaders took the podium to share thoughts on living in a community of vastly different religious and non-religious perspectives.

"Faith is mercy. Mercy is love for humanity. A love for humanity is to believe that human life - all human life - is sacred," said Imam Mohammed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society.

Tying the conciliatory themes of the vigil together, Washington National Cathedral's the Rev. Samuel Lloyd, III, called on those present to take with them a feeling of interfaith harmony.

"We know moments of harmony such as this will seem fleeting," said Lloyd, "But one thing can happen. They help us to glimpse the world as God yearns for it to be."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Church • Interfaith issues

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Thartea Hrangchal

    'Multi Faith' i lkie it. So it looks like all Religions worship the same God !!! How amazing.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • The Obama Christian Church Worldwide Campaign

      This is the reason why we worship and praise our good christian president Obama and that Obama will be Lord of the world on October 21st of this year. We need to use Obama to restore the traditional dictates of our good Word Of God or the Bible. The Obama Administration will help us christians restore the good morals of christianity which is good. We need to learn the gospels of Obama and Christ to restore the good morals of the world.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  2. Muneef

    I still say corruptors on this planet are although called Businessmen but they are as equal as terrorists and threatening the lives of more people or life on earth even more than terrorists...but how come we have not seen those repent and oppologise ?

    Our oceans are being decimated – deep-sea trawlers are clear-cutting our ocean floors leaving vast wastelands. A crucial UN fisheries meeting is happening in 48 hours – and it could be the turning point in the fight against senseless ocean destruction, but only if enough of us speak out now. Sign and forward to everyone: 

    To members of the UN General Assembly:
    As concerned global citizens, we call on you immediately to implement and enforce your obligations to the UN resolutions on fishing and work to ban the destructive practice of deep-sea bottom-fishing. We urge you to usher in a new era of accountability and commitment to our injured oceans by steadfastly holding other nations to their promises to protect oceans and curb devastation.

    Strange though nothing mentioned about off shore drilling and the pollutions that result to ocean lives deaths and extinctions and much as those fishermen!!?

    September 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  3. Amanda

    @ Mojonaamdi

    Well said. Thank you for your thoughtful prose.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  4. McJesus

    Tolerance IS NOT acceptance. Believe or burn in hell. Believe or suffer. Believe or be cast aside. You as a non-believer are only TOLERATED to a degree because of the potential for your conversion. Otherwise, again, you are to be cast aside when THE END credits roll on the movie that we call life.

    I tolerate a cloud of mosquito when I hike in the forest, as I expect them to be there. But if one gets near me and I have a good shot, I will kill it.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  5. ColoredMountains

    Without respect for God, there cannot be understanding or respect for humans. The present-day secular societies blaspheme too much, therefore the talk of tolerance there is only a wishful thinking or a complete lie.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • McJesus

      Without respect for Leprechauns, there shall be no pots of gold at the end of rainbows either.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  6. Muneef

    A Bedouin was asked,"How do you know your Lord?"

    The Bedouin could only reply with (The Example of) that which was before him, so he said, " Droppings tell of a Camel, Foot-Prints tell of a Traveler. The Sky, The Earth with Mountain Passes, Seas with Waves- Do they not tell of the All-Hearer, The All Seer?".

    September 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • *frank*

      Do the Bedouin have a top-shelf educational system?

      September 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving all Islamic Bedouins to include Muneef:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      September 14, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Muneef

      Was referring to the early Bedouins of 1400 years ago and not now, but Bedouins had a knowledge that which was called by "Al-fitrah"...and "Al-frasah".. Just as did the early Red Indians were known of.

      September 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  7. A Theist

    @Answer (for whatever reason I've had a hard time getting this through the SoundOff filter...)
    Yes, I don't really aim to find my scholarly ans.wers here so much as the questions that I should research. Thanks for your response as well. It sounds like you know a thing or two about primate behavior–or else know sour.ces I can review–so maybe I can re-write the question I just asked in a matter that can address you directly. Do the primates in their groups also experience "moral d i l e m m a s"? In other words, are all acts of the "Golden Rule" natural? If so, I am curious why H o. m o S a p i e n s lack the natural response to the "Moral" or "Golden Rule" but instead seem at conflict with their i n s t i n c t s.

    I'll do some research and see what I find.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  8. Hasa Diga Eebowai

    Yet all the books they hold so dear scream kill the infidel.

    September 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Mojonaamdi

      Funny thing that there are those who say "people kill people, guns don't" and yet when it comes to the Muslims, they blame the religion and not the people who twist the meanings to suit their agenda. From what I have read in the Quran, the only injunction is to kill or fight those who fight against you because of your belief. as any Christian or person who has read the Bible would know, there are many many more verses of the holy Bible in which it states more or less the same and sometimes even more explicit and direct. If indeed as some claim Muslims were told to kill Christians and Jews, then explain why for over 1,000 years so many Christians and Jews lived in muslim majority countries with no problem. surely, they would have all been dead by now. Look at every war that is fought...it's almost always about land, not religion. The israeli – palestinian issue is about land and until we are just to the palestinians a lot of these problems would not go away. we have to realize that others have rights too, not just us. americans are among the most generous people, but we have some of the worst leaders. we blew the opportunity after the outpouring of support after 9.11.2001. we have killed 100 times more "collateral damage" (as we refer to the innocent people) than were killed on 9/11/2001. we invaded a country (iraq) that had nothing to do with 9/11/2001 and we act surprised when they don't want us in their countries. In recently released information, i see that ths US and british governments conspired to keep a certain leader from getting elected in Guyana ( a small country in south america). Then for almost 3 decades, the country was ruled by the favored US/British puppet, who became a brutal dictator and dragged the country from on of the brightest and best in the caribbean, to the 2nd poorest in the western hemisphere. The same man they kicked out in the 60's became president in 1992 after free elections and since then the country has experienced a reversal of fortunes and unprecedented development. the US and britain still hates this party, even though they have a free press and free and fair elections... because we are just too arrogant to admit our mistake. sounds familiar! well that just what we do all over the world.

      September 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • *frank*

      You're definitely on the wrong site to say anything sensible.

      September 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  9. GSA

    Wow, a day after 9/11 and it seems that a lot of ppl on this blog have opened their eyes and realized that placing blame on a whole group by the actions of a few nutjobs gets us nowhere. We are getting their, slowly but surely.
    @Peace2All – you said "I'm 'not' suggesting that we all shouldn't be on alert for any crazy insane nut-jobs.
    But, to place the blame on 1.5 billion muslims and act as if they are all crazed killers ready to dominate our country is a world-view that that I not only don't believe is in any way correct or accurate, but in no way could or will happen." – well said. If 1.5 billion of any ppl decided to hate and kill any other group it would be quite obvious and the results would be horrific.

    Attempting to bridge the gap with all faiths, whether you agree with their faith or not, seems to be a much better way to go towards creating any chance of peace. (IMHO).

    September 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  10. Anon

    All christards are screwed up in the head.

    September 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Are there other screwed some were else?

      September 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Muneef

      Are there others who are not but are screwed up some were else?!

      September 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Muneef

      Are there others who are not but are screwed up some where else?!

      September 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.