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Hindu woman priest in Obama inaugural prayer service

Hindu woman priest in Obama inaugural prayer service

Author: PTI
Publication: The Hindu
Date: January 18, 2009
URL: http://www.thehindu.com/holnus/001200901181931.htm

A Hindu woman priest will be among six religious leaders specially invited to participate in the National Prayer Service on January 21, a day after Barack Obama is sworn-in as the President of America.

Dr Uma Mysorekar, President of the Hindu Temple Society of North America will offer "responsive prayers" at the special service which will "symbolise America's traditions of religious tolerance and freedom", the Presidential Inaugural Committee said.

Mysorekar, a pratising gynecologist, heads the popular Ganesha temple in New York, said to be the first Hindu shrine of North America which was consecrated on July 4, 1977.

The National Prayer Service, a tradition dating back to the inauguration of George Washington, will be held at the National Cathedral at the conclusion of the inaugural events.

It will include scripture readings, prayers, hymns and blessings delivered by faith leaders from across the US.

"President-elect Obama's faith is a central part of his life and he will begin the first full day of his Administration with a service of interfaith prayer and reflection," Presidential Inaugural Committee Communications Director Josh Earnest said in a statement.

"The National Prayer Service, which will embody the themes of tolerance, unity and understanding, is a worship service for all Americans," he said.

The service will include a traditional prayer for civil leaders, a prayer for the nation, a selection by the Washington, DC-based Children of the Gospel choir, and, for the first time, feature a sermon delivered by a woman -- Sharon E Watkins from Disciples of Christ church.

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