President Joe Biden asked top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to join him for a bipartisan prayer session hours ahead of his inauguration, AFP reports.

Leaders in Congress were invited to attend services with him at St. Matthews Cathedral in Washington. The cathedral is where the funeral service was held for the only other Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, following his assassination in 1963.

His wife, Dr. Jill Biden, was by his side and vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, and congressional leaders from both parties.

The couples stood in silent reflection at the front altar of the cathedral.Those in attendance included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who is overseeing inaugural planning as head of the Rules Committee; and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., were among the participants, USA Today reports.

Biden, 78, made national unity a key part of his political platform prior to taking office. Bipartisanship has also been a major focus, as he plans to work with members on both sides of the political aisle.

He stayed overnight at Blair House, a building across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, and road briefly in a motorcade to the cathedral on a route guarded by hundreds of National Guard troops, USA Today reports.

Today, Biden becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history and is expected to make going to church a fixed part of his schedule, something we haven’t seen from many presidents in recent history.

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