Cardinal Wilton Gregory has been tapped to lead the invocation at President-elect Biden’s national (and virtual) COVID-19 memorial service.

The tribute, which will include contributions from different groups around the country, will be Biden's first public event following his arrival in DC from Delaware.



During the event, 400 candles will illuminate the Lincoln Memorial, representing the nearly 400,000 Coronavirus victims confirmed since early last year, a number that continues to grow by the thousands each day.

The Biden-Harris team is asking participating institutions to illuminate their buildings as well, and also ring bells in honor of the lives lost to the still-raging pandemic.

In many ways, the event will signal a change in course on the issue of the federal response to Coronavirus, following a long year of neglect on the part of the Trump administration.

Performers will include legendary Houston-based gospel singer Yolanda Adams (singing “Hallelujah”) and Michigan nurse Lori Marie Key, reproducing her viral rendition of “Amazing Grace” from last April.

Gregory, who has committed to collaborating with Biden despite the USCCB's more chilly disposition, seems to be keeping his word even before the next presidency begins.

The memorial event will go live tomorrow, Jan. 19th, at 5:30pm EST on the Biden-Harris website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch.


Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder of Black Catholic Messenger, a priesthood applicant with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).