Jump directly to the content

Obama to Attend Prayer Service on Inauguration Day

Barack Obama will attend a private prayer service on the morning of his inauguration at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church, according to the Washington Post.

St. John's, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, is known as the "Church of the Presidents." Since James Madison, every president has worshiped there at some point during his tenure in the Oval Office. The church has kneelers embroidered in tribute to each president, and Pew 54 is traditionally assigned to the chief executives when they visit.

Obama has rarely appeared at Sunday worship since he broke ties with Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ. Washington Post reporter Jacqueline L. Salmon provides historical context for why Obama may have chosen to attend the prayer service at St. John's.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt started the tradition of attending a worship service before inauguration at St. John's. Since then, four other presidents have worshiped there on Inauguration Day, according to the church's Web site: Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

And since Roosevelt, every president except Richard M. Nixon has attended a worship service on inauguration morning somewhere in the District.

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:January 14, 2009 at 11:18AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Muslim Migrants Throw Christians Overboard into Mediterranean
Religion involved for first time in common yet deadly sea crossings from Africa to Italy.
Died: Billy Ray Hearn, CCM Pioneer Who Discovered Amy Grant, Keith Green, and Steven Curtis Chapman
Michael Card, Twila Paris, and other stars of contemporary Christian music pay tribute to Sparrow Records founder.
Having Gay Friends Changes Evangelicals' Minds on Marriage, But Not Morality
LifeWay looks at how many support legal same-sex unions they view as sinful.
Europe’s ‘Unlikely Bible Belt’ Officially Disappears
Few Crimean religious groups recognized under Russian rule.
Christianity Today
Obama to Attend Prayer Service on Inauguration Day