WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama and Michelle Obama finished attending a service at St. John's Church before sharing a coffee with President and Mrs. Bush at the White House ahead of Obama's inauguration as the next president..
Emerging from Blair House on Tuesday morning, the Obamas were continuing a tradition followed by many incoming presidents before him, attending service at what's been dubbed the "Church of the Presidents."
The next first lady wore a pale yellow, embroidered dress with a long matching coat as she started her day with a short ride alongside her husband in the presidential limo -- dubbed "The Beast." She will be accompanied by soon-to-be former first lady Laura Bush after the inauguration in a vehicle separate from her husband and President Bush.
The two arrived late to service as the congregation of a few hundred were singing Hymn 680. Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, were also in attendance. A blessing was given to the Obamas by Rev. Otis Moss Jr., who recently retired as head of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland.
From their vehicle, they were not in a position to see the million-plus people who had already arrived on the National Mall in anticipation of Obama's oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
The Bushes greeted the Obamas at the White House. The Bidens also joined the two first couples as well as members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which has been headed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Bush -- following tradition -- is leaving a note for Obama in the top drawer of his desk in the Oval Office.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the theme of the message -- which Bush wrote on Monday -- is similar to what he has said since election night about how Obama is about to start a "fabulous new chapter" in the United States, and that he wishes him well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.