Joe Biden, who would become only the second Catholic president, attends a service at St. Matthew the Apostle’s Cathedral in Washington, DC, ahead of his inauguration later today.
Biden will be joined by all four congressional leaders, CNN reported, including Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
Incoming presidents typically attend services on the morning of their inauguration, often at St. John’s Episcopal Church, a small church across the street from Lafayette Square from the White House known as the “Presidents’ Church.”
Since 1933, seven presidents – Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Reagan, George HW Bush, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump – have attended morning services in St. John’s prior to their public inaugurations, according to the Joint Congressional Committee. on Inaugural Ceremonies.
FDR visited St. John’s ahead of three of its openings; for his fourth, in 1945, FDR attended a private service at the White House.
St. John’s was back in the news in 2020 as the backdrop to Trump’s infamous Bible photoshoot.
About Saint Matthew the Apostle Cathedral: The cathedral, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Washington, is named after the Apostle Saint Matthew, the patron saint of public servants, according to the cathedral’s website.
St. Matthew’s was the site of several historic events, including the funeral mass for President John F. Kennedy on November 25, 1963. The funeral of Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court William Rehnquist and Associate Justice William J. Brennan were also held there. .
Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis also all visited St. Matthew’s.
The cathedral also traditionally hosts an annual celebration called “Red Mass” on the Sunday before the start of the October ordinary term of the Supreme Court, which Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and heads of government are invited to attend. to special service.