Contact: Peggy Birchfield, Faith and Action, 202-546-8329, ext 104, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- In a first for presidential inaugurations, Congressman Paul Broun (pronounced BROWN) of Georgia joined the Reverends Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) of Faith and Action and Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, both based in Washington, DC, in a prayer service inside the US Capitol today that included anointing the doorway President-Elect Barack Obama will pass through on his way to the platform to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20.
"Anointing with oil is a rich tradition both in the Bible and in the history of the US Capitol," said Rev. Schenck. "Oil symbolizes consecration, or setting something apart for God's use. George Washington used oil during the dedication of the US Capitol. We used oil today to set apart the walkway and doors that will be the literal right of passage for Barack Obama as he ascends to the highest office in our land."
Rep. Broun spoke during the 10-minute prayer service, delivering a short sermon-like talk on the need to obey God and His will, and for the future president to do what is right. Rev. Schenck read Bible passages and applied sacred oil to the doorposts of the arched doorway leading out of the Capitol and onto the inaugural stage, immediately in front of the riser where Obama will stand with Chief Justice John Roberts who will administer the Oath of Office. Rev. Mahoney, who is undertaking a 21-day fast and daily prayer schedule for Mr. Obama across the street from the White House, read an inaugural prayer by Dr. Billy Graham delivered 40 years ago.
Congressman Broun referred to the location of the prayer service as "the doorway that (President-Elect Obama) will enter through to the start of his presidency."
A video of the entire prayer service will be posted at YouTube and at www.faithandaction.org.
The Reverends Schenck and Mahoney are available for comment at 202-546-8329, ext 104, or at email@example.com.