Today we give thanks for the life of evangelist Billy Graham, a towering figure of the Christian faith and a witness to the transformative power of the Gospel. Through his devotion to God and his love for people from every station in life, Dr. Graham changed the world with the simple message that faith in Jesus Christ can change lives.

In particular, we recall the message of consolation and comfort that Dr. Graham brought here to the Cathedral in the dark days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “And in that faith in God,” he told us, “we have the strength to endure something as difficult and horrendous as what we’ve experienced this week.”

Though we didn’t always share the same theological perspectives, we nonetheless shared the belief in the destructive nature of sin in a troubled world, the power of Jesus Christ to change lives; and the transformative ability of God’s grace to open hearts.

Together, with all the saints in glory, we offer thanks for the witness of Billy Graham and gratitude for his devotion to the love of God. In the words of our liturgy, we pray:

“Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Billy. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.”

—The Very Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith