Episcopal bishops to lead online commemoration of George Floyd

Service will feature lament, Act of Remembrance, reflection by Presiding Bishop

Six Episcopal bishops will lead a prayerful commemoration of George Floyd on the first anniversary of his murder by a Minneapolis police officer. The pre-recorded service, featuring a reflection by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, will air on May 25 at 8 p. m. EST on the Facebook page of the Diocese of Indianapolis and those of other participating dioceses.*

The service includes a Prayer of Lament from George Floyd Square—the renamed area where Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin; a candle-lit “Act of Remembrance” from Ferguson, Missouri, where the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, catalyzed a nationwide movement against police violence; and a 9 minute, 29- second video created by the Rev. Kevin Goodman, a former television producer who is interim rector of All Saints, Western Springs in the Diocese of Chicago.

Nine minutes and 29 seconds is the length of time Chauvin knelt with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

“The renewed movement for racial justice and healing that began in the streets of Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd, and quickly spread throughout the country and around the world, has inspired a deeper awakening to the ways systemic racism form the very foundations of the institutions they make up our common life, including our church,” said Bishop Craig Loya of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. “That movement and awakening is the work of the Holy Spirit, and if we are to be faithful as followers of Jesus, we are called to use our whole lives to join the Spirit in this work.”

Bishops Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of Indianapolis, Mariann Budde of Washington, Deon Johnson of Missouri, Kym Lucas of Colorado and Bonnie Perry of Michigan will join Loya in leading the service, which was created by Johnson, in collaboration with the other participants. As many as 11 other dioceses from the United States and Canada are sending videotaped prayers or meditations to be included at the end of the service. Michael Boney, director of music at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, is serving as music director.

“My hope for this service is that we might mark the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder nationally, and then be motivated to act locally, addressing issues of systemic racism in our own unique contexts,” Perry said. “I believe we can use this moment to create a movement in the Episcopal Church and beyond, enabling the Episcopal Church to be a force partnering with secular organizations already involved in this work, using powerful liturgy to lead people to meaningful action.”

*The service may also appear on the Facebook pages of:

the Diocese of Colorado

the Diocese of Michigan

the Episcopal Church in Minnesota

the Diocese of Missouri

the Diocese of Washington