Biden worships at church JFK attended

Obama Biden Inauguration
Vice President-elect Joe Biden greets Father Mark Horak as he holds his grandson, Robert Hunter Biden, 2, after attending Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the Georgetown section of Washington, Sunday.Gerald Herbert / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Vice President-elect Joe Biden worshipped and received communion Sunday at the same Roman Catholic church President John F. Kennedy attended just hours before his inauguration.

Biden and his wife, Jill, sat in a pew reserved for him and his family toward the back of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and listened as the Rev. Larry Madden, S.J., delivered a sermon about God as a constant anchor and the promise of hope and change for those who believe.

Although Madden did not mention Biden's name, the presence of the vice president-elect was obvious in other ways.

Secret Service agents were discreetly stationed throughout the church, including either side of the altar. Toward the end of the 11:30 a.m. Mass, as one of the lectors urged those in attendance to welcome new members and visitors, some in the congregation laughed and then applauded, looking toward Biden. He eventually stood and acknowledged the response that included a standing ovation.

Among those at the service was Biden's former colleague, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a regular at Holy Trinity.

Biden, the former Delaware senator, has attended Mass at the church before; his granddaughter received her first communion there last year. A Biden son, Hunter, lives in the area.

Kennedy worshipped at Holy Trinity during his time in Washington, and a plaque on the fence at the front of the church describes the 35th president. On the snowy morning of Jan. 20, 1961, Kennedy attended Mass there before his swearing-in.

During Sunday's service, the congregation was asked to pray for "wisdom and integrity" to guide the new president and his administration, a recognition of Tuesday's inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and Biden.