Service of Dedication
of Memorial Bay and Tomb of
Woodrow Wilson
President of the United States


Service of Dedication
of Memorial Bay and Tomb of
Woodrow Wilson
President of the United States


Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.)




1956 November 11


Program for the dedication of Wilson's tomb at the National Cathedral on Veterans' Day one hundred years after his birth.


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Papers, University of California, Santa Barbara


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Woodrow Wilson Centennial




Service of Dedication
of Memorial Bay and Tomb of


Woodrow Wilson

president of the united states
[Seal of the National Cathedral]


November eleventh, 1956
4:00 p. m.

Organ Prelude: Pièce Heroïque
César Franck

(All stand as the choir, bearers carrying the flags of the States and Territories, the Cathedral Chapter and the officiating clergy are conducted to their places.)

Processional HymnTune: “Austria

LORIOUS things of thee are spoken,
Sion, city of our God;
He whose word cannot be broken,
Formed thee for his own abode;
On the Rock of Ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded,
Thou may'st smile at all thy foes
See, the streams of lving waters,
Springing from eternal love,
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
And all fear of want remove.
Who can faint, when such a river
Ever will their thirst assuage?
Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,
Never fails from age to age.Round each habitation hovering,
See the cloud and fire appear
For a glory and a covering,
Showing that the Lord is near.
Thus deriving from their banner,
Light by night, and shade by day,
Safe they feed upon the manna
Which he gives them when they pray.Blest inhabitants of Sion,
Washed in the Redeemer's blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
Makes them kings and priests to God.
'Tis his love his people raises
Over self to reign as kings:
And as priests, his solemn praises
Each for a thank-offering brings.

John Newton, 1779

The Opening Sentences

WHO shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall rise up in his holy place? Even he that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; and that hath not lift up his mind unto vanity, nor sworn to deceive his neighbor. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

I HEARD a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salavtion, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.
O Lord, open thou our lips.

And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.

Psalm 146

Minister. PRAISE the Lord, O my soul: while I live, will I praise the Lord;People.

Yea, as long as I have any being, I will sing praises unto my God.

O put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man; for there is no help in them.

For when the breath of man goeth forth, he shall turn again to his earth, and then all his thoughts perish.

Blessed is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help,

And whose hope is in the Lord his God:

Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is; who keepeth his promise for ever;

Who helpeth them to right that suffer wrong; who feedeth the hungry.

The Lord looseth men out of prison; the Lord giveth sight to the blind.

The Lord helpeth them that are fallen; the Lord careth for the righteous.

The Lord careth for the strangers; he defendeth the fatherless and widow: as for the way of the ungodly, he turneth it upside down.

The Lord thy God, O Sion, shall be King for evermore, and throughout all generations.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

(sit)Selection From John Bunyan: “The Pilgrim's Progress”

(Read by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt)

THEN said he, I am going to my Father's, and though with great difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword, I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill, to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, that I have fought his battles who now will be my rewarder. When the day that he must go hence, was come, many accompanied him to the river side, into which, as he went, he said, Death, where is thy sting? And as he went down deeper, he said, Grave, where is thy victory? So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.


Cantate DominoDavid McK. Williams

SING unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things. With his own right hand, and with his holy arm, hath he gotten himself the victory.
The Lord declared his salvation; his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.
He hath remembered his mercy and truth toward the house of Israel; and all the ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God.
Show yourselves joyful unto the Lord, all ye lands; sing, rejoice, and give thanks.
Praise the Lord upon the harp; sing to the harp with a psalm of thanksgiving.
With trumpets also and shawms, O show yourselves joyful before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea make a noise, and all that therein is; the round world, and they that dwell therein.
Let the floods clap their hands, and let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth.
With righteousness shall he judge the world, and the peoples with equity.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


The Lesson: St. Matthew 7:13-27

(Read by The Rev. Graham Gordon Lacy, D.D.,
Minister, Central Presbyterian Church)(stand)

Hymnn Tune: “Watchman”

ATCHMAN, tell us of the night,
What its signs of promise are.
Traveler, o'er yon mountain's height,
See that glory-beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
Aught of joy or hope foretell?
Traveler, yes; it brings the day,
Promised day of Israel.Watchman, tell us of the night;
Higher yet that star ascends.
Traveler, blessedness and light,
Peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone
Gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveler, ages are its own;
See, it bursts o'er all the earth.Watchman, tell us of the night,
For the morning seems to dawn.
Traveler, darkness takes its flight,
Doubt and terror are withdrawn.
Watchman, let thy wanderings cease;
Hie thee to thy quiet home.
Traveler, lo! the Prince of Peace,
Lo! the Son of God is come!
John Bowring, 1825

The Apostles' Creed

I BELIEVE in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary:
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead:
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.I believe in the Holy Ghost:
The holy Catholic Church:
The Communion of Saints:
The Forgiveness of sins:
The Resurrection of the body:
And the Life everlasting. Amen.

The Versicles and Responses

The Lord be with you.

And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Our Father, who are in heaven.
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.and
Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,People.
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

O Lord, show thy mercy upon us.

And grant us thy salvation.

O Lord, save the State.

And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.

Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.

And make thy chosen people joyful.

O Lord, save thy people.

And bless thine inheritance.

Give Peace in our time, O Lord.

For it is thou, Lord, only, that makest us dwell in safety.

O God, make clean our hearts within us.

And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

The Prayers
O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Raise up, we beseech thee, O Lord, to be leaders of our people, able men and such as fear thee, men of truth and hating covetousness, neither regarding persons nor seeking rewards; and so strengthen them by thy Spirit, that in singleness of heart they may endeavor to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, that our nation may be ordered in equity and righteousness according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Saviour of the world, who on the Cross didst offer up thy life for the blessing of all mankind; We praise and glorify thee for the good examples of all those who have followed thee, and have offered their lives for the redemption of their fellow men, and for the defense and maintenance of justice and liberty. Reward them with the fullness of joy in thy presence for evermore. Grant to us all a like spirit of devotion that their sacrifice may not be in vain; endue us with the will and the wisdom to continue their endeavors, to the end that peace and good will, righteousness and freedom, may prevail among all peoples, to the glory and honour of thy Name, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Almighty God, supreme Governor of all men: Incline thine ear, we beseech thee, to the prayer of nations, and so overrule the imperfect counsel of men, and set straight the things they cannot govern, that we may walk in the paths of obedience to places of vision, and to thoughts that purge and make us wise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

(sit)Offertory Sentences
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

ere on earth have we no continuing place; howbeit, we seek one to come. Lo, I unfold unto you a mystery. We shall not all sleep when he cometh, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and all we shall be changed. Then what of old was written, the same shall be brought to pass, for death shall be swallowed in victory. Grave, where is thy triumph? Death, where is thy sting?
Heb. 13:14, I Cor. 15:51-55

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

y country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring.My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.Our fathers' God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King. Amen.
S. F. Smith, 1832

(All stand as the procession from the choir is led to the memorial bay, while this hymn is sung.)

Ye watchers and ye holy ones,
Bright seraphs, cherubim, and thrones,
Raise the glad strain, Alleluia!
Cry out, dominions princedoms, powers,
Virtues, archangels, angels' choirs,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!O higher than the cherubim,
More glorious than the seraphim,
Lead their praises, Alleluia!
Thou bearer of the eternal Word,
Most gracious, magnify the Lord,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!Respond, ye souls in endless rest,
Ye patriarchs and prophets blest,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Ye holy twelve, ye martyrs strong,
All saints triumphant, raise the song
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!O friends, in gladness let us sing,
Supernal anthems echoing,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Athelstan Riley, 1909

The Bidding
(by the Right Reverend Angus Dun, Bishop of Washington)

Brethren, we are come to hallow this memorial to the glory of God and as a final resting place for Woodrow Wilson. Placed in the midst of this Cathedral Church, it will constantly remind the many who shall come here of his own dedication to God's holy purposes. Here in enduring stone is suggested something of his life and labors. His ruling motive was to dedicate the forces of humanity to the great trust on which men's hearts waited, men's lives hung. Ever promoting peace, yet he devoted himself to that right which we have always carried nearest our hearts and which is even more precious than peace. He called his fellow countrymen to follow with lifted eyes and freshened spirit the vision of which America dreamed at its birth. And he saw clearly that for civilization to survive materially, it must be redeemed spiritually, becoming permeated with the spirit of Christ, and being made free and happy by the practices which spring out of that spirit.
Therefore I bid you join in prayer for him whose memorial we now set apart, and in rededicating ourselves and our country to carrying forward those ideals to which his life was committed.

The Litany

For all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, and for especially Woodrow Wilson,

We bless thy holy Name.

That thou mayst grant to them continual growth in thy love and service, and to us grace to follow their good examples.

We beseech thee.

From tyranny and oppression, from disregard of the rights of the weak, from using strength to dominate rather than to serve,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From meanness of spirit and pursuing selfish goals while too preoccupied to minister to others' needs,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From smallness of vision and reluctance to live dangerously and run risks in following our conviction of God's calling,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From timidity and distrust; from lack of faith that thou wilt supply us strength to tread the path thou wouldst have us walk,

Good Lord, deliver us.

That we may constantly pursue that moral purpose, love of justice and reverence for humanity which constitutes the only virtue and distinction of the American people,
People.We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That the peoples of the earth who submit to authority may have a voice in their own government.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That universal domination of right by a concert of free peoples may bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That thy will may be done on earth as it is in heaven,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, grant that what we have asked faithfully we may obtain effectually. Amen.

(Then shall taps be sounded and the national colors, the two Presidential flags and a memorial wreath be carried ceremoniously to the tomb. After the wreath is laid, the Bishop shall dedicate the memorial thus:


To the glory of God Almighty, for the adornment of his house, for the inspiration of his people, and for an abiding memorial to his faithful servant, Woodrow Wilson, we do dedicate and set apart this bay. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Benediction
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make you perfect in every good work to do his will working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight, both now and evermore. Amen.

Recessional Hymn
Tune: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword:
His Truth is marching on.I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I have read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat;
O be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the Sea;
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave;
He is wisdom to the mighty, he is succour to the brave;
So the world shall be his footstool, and the soul of time his slave:
Our God is marching on.
Julia Ward Howe, 1862

(After the clergy and special guests have made their departure, members of the congregation desiring to do so may pass through the memorial bay on their way out of the Cathedral.)

Organ Postlude:
Toccata from the Fifth Symphony
Charles Marie Widor

At his death Woodrow Wilson was buried in Bethlehem Chapel, in the crypt of Washington Cathedral. In accordance with the original intention, plans were initiated in 1952 for a permanent memorial to be completed during the centennial year of his birth. This memorial was designed by Philip H. Frohman, Cathedral architect, and the cornerstone laid a year ago.Stained glass windows symbolic of Woodrow Wilson's life and labors are being prepared, and will be installed later. Details of the elaborate carving include the official flowers of those states in which he lived and shields of the six colleges with which he was connected. On the tomb itself are the coats of arms of those bodies of which he was the executive head: Princeton University, the State of New Jersey, and the United States of America.

During the service, the flags of the states and territories are being carried by members of the American Legion, George Washington Post No. 1, and by boys and girls of the Cathedral Schools.The American flag will be borne to the tomb by Mr. Rhodney P. Heefner, who was a member of the honor guard at Wilson's funeral in 1924. It is the same flag which was carried by the first detachment of American troops to march through London in the summer of 1917. The Presidential flags presented to Mr. Wilson at the occasion of his two inaugurations are carried by Mr. Arthur Sweetser, representing the Woodrow Wilson Centennial Commission, and The Honorable Jan Ciachanowski, the former Ambassador of Poland.The Chairman of the Centennial Commission, Major General E. Walton Opie, is placing the memorial wreath on the tomb as the personal representative of the President of the United States.

Original Format





Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), “Service of Dedication of Memorial Bay and Tomb of Woodrow Wilson President of the United States,” 1956 November 11, WWP19663, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Collection at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.