A statement from the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral and the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington:

Washington National Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington join the nation in mourning the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an icon of inclusion and a tireless advocate for those too long denied a voice in our nation and their rightful place in our laws.

Though small in stature, she was a giant for women’s rights, devoting her entire legal career to the notion that women should be included not only in the spirit of the law, but also in its application. That spirit extended to her defense of all those who — because of their race, gender or sexual orientation — were never granted full equality under the law.

She was also a model of decency and civility, especially with those with whom she fundamentally disagreed. Her closest friend on the high court was her ideological opposite, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. “Fight for the things you care about,” she said, “but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

Justice Ginsburg’s death comes at a fraught moment in our nation’s polarized politics. The next few months will test the strength of our institutions and the character of those called upon to choose her successor.

Perhaps more than any other time in our recent history, the coming weeks will put enormous strain on the frayed fabric of our collective life. We must not succumb to our worst instincts, and we must be abundant in grace and magnanimous in our disagreements.

Justice Ginsburg recognized that, from the very founding of this nation, our democracy has been and continues to be a work in progress. As a result, she devoted her whole life to the quest for a more perfect Union. She knew injustice, she overcame discrimination, yet she never lost faith in our capacity to expand the circle of inclusion ever wider.

We are now called to embody that same faith in this grand experiment of democracy. When so much threatens to tear us apart, we must cling ever tighter to our highest ideals. May her memory be a blessing, may we draw strength from her example, and may we never lose sight of the America she knew we could be.

Almighty God, we give you thanks for the life, work and witness of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We humbly beseech you to bless the courts of justice and the magistrates in all this land. Give to them, as you gave to Justice Ginsburg, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth and impartially administer the law. Amen. 

Tony Franquiz, 202-374-5393, [email protected]


About Washington National Cathedral Grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes. 

About the Episcopal Diocese of Washington The Diocese of Washington comprises 38,000 people in 88 congregations in the District of Columbia and four Maryland counties (Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s). Our mission, as a diocese, is to engage a changing world with an enduring faith in Jesus Christ so that more people may know God’s love.