Obamas continue with presidential tradition of visiting Episcopal Church

April 13th, 2009 - 2:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr.13 (ANI): The Obamas have honoured a presidential tradition of visiting St. John’s Church, located across from the White House, for an Easter Sunday service.

The tradition goes back to 1809. James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, started it..As congregants went to the altar for communion, several stopped at the president’s pew and wished Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters a happy Easter. It was the first public worship services for the president since he took office, reports Fox News.

Inside, the service began with organ, brass and percussion fanfare. Obama and other worshippers heard readings from the book of Exodus, the gospel of Mark and other traditional Easter selections.

Among prayers offered during the service were those for Obama and others in public life.

In his sermon, the Reverend Luis Leon welcomed believers and non-believers alike and called Easter an event based on faith, not logic.

Leon made no mention of the Obamas in his sermon.

St. John’s is popular with presidents. President George W. Bush often attended services there, and church history contends that every president since James Madison, the nation’s fourth chief executive, has visited.

There was no indication from White House officials that Obama was seeking membership at St. John’s. The president and his family attended a private service there on Inauguration Day, a tradition for those about to become president.

The current president’s choice on where to worship has been closely watched since he renounced his former pastor and friend, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose controversial remarks about race and other issues almost derailed Obama’s presidential campaign. (ANI)

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