Eucharistic Preaching as Early Response to a Dual Pandemic


  • David M. Stark The University of the South



preaching, Washington National Cathedral, COVID-19-pandemic, racism, United States


This paper examines the preaching at Washington National Cathedral as a response to the dual pandemic of COVID-19 and systemic racism in the United States. Drawing on research from over forty sermons from high church traditions and comparing it with analysis of sermons on Palm Sunday and Easter this paper will show how preachers in high church traditions, accustomed to preaching in the presence of eucharist, adapted their proclamation to respond to a virtual congregation and the absence of in-person communion. Then, the paper examines how Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry further develop elements of eucharistic preaching in Pentecost and Trinity Sunday sermons to respond to the murder of George Floyd. Among other things, Budde and Curry’s sermons call for confession, evoke anamnesis, employ liturgical music, invite embodiment, and offer Christ as broken body and resurrected hope to target systemic racism. These sermonic examples show how the theology and rhetoric of the eucharistic liturgy can be a resource for preaching that more effectively confronts the challenges of a dual pandemic.

Author Biography

David M. Stark, The University of the South

David M. Stark, born 1977, is Assistant Professor of Homiletics at the School of Theology,
University of the South, Sewanee.