"We pray for all those who seek God, for all those who question God, for all those who doubt God and for all those who are moved to ask God `Why?'" Deacon Robert Jacobs told 1,500 people at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York's largest church.
At Holy Family Catholic Church in Chicago, about 1,200 firefighters--many in uniform and helmets--gathered to honor their fallen brothers and sisters in New York.
About 4,000 people crowded Washington National Cathedral, where they prayed for America's enemies and asked nations to set aside ancient bitterness.
Catholics who had not been to church in months showed up for 8 a.m. mass at St. Clement Catholic Church in Lincoln Park. And more than 60 congregants at Success Church Ministries, an evangelical church in a small storefront in Beverly, sang loudly of God's glory as if to drown out the forces of evil that had descended on New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.
Rev. Louis Farrakhan told an overflow crowd at Mosque Maryam of "perpetrators [who] have lost their humanity and become like wild beasts."
And thousands of Mexican-Americans attended an outdoor mass Sunday at 26th Street and Rockwell Avenue in Chicago.
The mass, organized by La Ley, a Spanish-language radio station, and St. Anthony's parish in Cicero, drew a large but solemn crowd intent on expressing sympathy for the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks and support for the U.S.--in many cases a recently adopted homeland.
The purpose of the event was "to show that the Hispanic community, especially the Mexican community ... stands with the United States," said Mario Paez, general manager of La Ley, WLEY.
"People just kept pouring in," for the 8 a.m. mass, he said. "We expected a large crowd, but nothing of that magnitude."
In New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the names of the living and the dead echoed throughout the Gothic structure as Jacobs read a list of people killed in the twin towers of the World Trade Center and congregants called out the names of missing friends and family members.
In Washington, Very Rev. Canon Nathan Baxter, dean of the cathedral, called for justice instead of retribution, a sentiment echoed in sermons nationwide.
"We must lay aside the quick, potent energy of blind rage," he said. "America, this nation, is a good nation of good people with a good heart."
Sister Aron Brown, of Shining Star Missionary Baptist Church in Beverly, urged President Bush to pray for guidance.
"He should go off by himself and say: `Lord, I don't know what to do,'" she said. Before attacking Afghanistan, she said, the president should remember "they have women and children too."
Farrakhan said U.S. leaders need to re-evaluate a foreign policy that he said is responsible for much of the anger against America.
"We have to look at what we have done to produce this," he said.
Muslim neighbors invited