WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - President Obama is expected to maintain a Washington tradition this inauguration day by attending a pre-inaugural service at St. John's Episcopal Church.

He'll visit the historic church just across Lafayette Park from the White House before heading to Capitol Hill for his swearing in.
Andrea McCarren stopped by the "Church of the Presidents" to speak with its rector.

St. John's Episcopal Church will be a part of inaugural history once again.

"Inauguration Day is like a celebration of America and I get excited about that," said Rev. Dr. Luis Leon of St. John's Episcopal Church.

"We very much appreciate having the opportunity to help the President, whatever party, to celebrate the beginning of a new term, especially in a religious context. Give us an opportunity to help him pray for our country," said Hayden Bryan, also of St. John's Episcopal Church.

President Obama and his family often worship here.

"My wife and I always make a comment that when they're walking to church, he's holding hands with the girls. And we always think that that's just a great statement," said Rev. Dr. Luis Leon.

The church features Pew 54, known as the President's Pew ever since James Madison first sat there. Now, it's reserved for President Obama.

"Everyone knows where he's going to sit so when he comes, the whole church wants to sit near there so they can shake hands with the President. You can almost feel the church tilting to one side. The other side is completely empty," said Rev. Dr. Luis Leon.

President Obama will take the oath of office using two Bibles: the one used by President Lincoln at his first inauguration and a second Bible used by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Lincoln's former pew is now marked by a plaque. The yellow church has hosted 11 pre-inaugural services and asserted its own place in American history.

President Obama normally sits in Pew 54, but on inauguration day, the Obamas will be sitting in the front row, alongside Vice President Joe Biden and his family.

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