The Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013 presented by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Morning Worship Service

Library of Congress

John F. Kennedy Shakes hands with Father Richard J. Casey after attending Mass at Holy Trinity Church.

On March 4, 1933, at 10:15 a.m., prior to his swearing-in ceremony, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor attended a church service at St. John's Episcopal Church, next to the White House. They did the same at Roosevelt's 1937 and 1941 Inaugurations, and arranged for a private service at the White House the morning of his fourth Inauguration on January 20, 1945. Roosevelt's Inauguration Day worship service set a precedent that has been followed by Presidents ever since.

Franklin Roosevelt was not the first President to attend church on Inauguration Day, however. In 1789, George Washington attended a service at St. Paul's Chapel in New York City immediately following his swearing-in ceremony. Although this feature of Washington's Inauguration did not set a precedent, religion still played a role in subsequent swearing-in ceremonies. Almost all Presidents since George Washington have placed their hand on a Bible when taking the oath of office. And all Presidents have included some reference to the Almighty in their Inaugural addresses (except George Washington's second address, which was only 135 words).

The following list provides information on Inauguration Day worship services attended by Presidents and Presidents-elect since 1933.

 
Table of Worship Services Attended by President-Elects
President Inaugural Event Service Attended
George W. Bush January 20, 2001 Attended private service at St. John's Episcopal Church;
William J. Clinton January 20, 1997 Attended private prayer service at Metropolitan AME Church;
William J. Clinton January 20, 1993 Attended private prayer service at Metropolitan AME Church;
George H.W. Bush January 20, 1989 Attended private service at St. John's Episcopal Church;
Ronald W. Reagan January 21, 1985 Attended private service at St. John's Episcopal Church; On Monday, January 21, attended service at National Cathedral
Ronald W. Reagan January 20, 1981 Attended private service at St. John's Episcopal Church;
James E. Carter January 20, 1977 Interfaith prayer service at the Lincoln Memorial;
Richard M. Nixon January 20, 1973 No apparent church service Inauguration Day morning; attended church the next day
Richard M. Nixon January 20, 1969 Attended official prayer breakfast in West Auditorium of the State Department;
Lyndon Baines Johnson January 20, 1965 Attended private service at National City Christian Church;
John F. Kennedy January 20, 1961 Attended Mass at Holy Trinity Church;
Dwight D. Eisenhower January 20, 1957 Attended services at National Presbyterian Church ; Took private oath of office that day; public ceremony the next day.
Dwight D. Eisenhower January 20, 1953 Attended service at National Presbyterian Church ;
Harry S. Truman January 20, 1949 Attended service at St. John's Episcopal Church ;
Franklin D. Roosevelt January 20, 1945 Private service held in the East Room of the White House;
Franklin D. Roosevelt January 20, 1941 Attended service at St. John's Episcopal Church;
Franklin D. Roosevelt January 20, 1937 Attended service at St. John's Episcopal Church ;
Franklin D. Roosevelt March 4, 1933 Attended service at St. John's Episcopal Church ;