Biden begins Inauguration Day with mass at historic Cathedral of St. Matthews Church
Biden is expected to have a busy first day in office, signing more than a dozen executive orders
Incoming Democratic President Joe Biden on Wednesday began Inauguration Day with a prayer service at St. Matthews Church, a Catholic church just blocks from the White House.
The service will be followed by a swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Building and later entertainment including a performance by singer Lady Gaga. Biden is expected to issue as many as 17 executive orders in his first day in office.
Traditional Inauguration ceremonies have been vastly scaled back as a result of the pandemic and what the FBI has described as the possibility of an armed protest.
Among the traditions cancelled are the presidential parade with well-wishers along the route and visitors allowed to watch the swearing-in from the National Mall.
Over 25,000 National Guard troops have been activated and sent to Washington, D.C., as part of the massive security operation.
St. Matthews was the site of the state funeral for President John F. Kennedy after he was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
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