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The First Family Celebrates Easter Sunday

President Obama celebrated Easter by attending services at St. John's Episcopal Church across from the White House.

The first family took advantage of a sun-splashed spring day in the nation’s capitol and enjoyed a short stroll through Lafayette Park to the historic church.

"Happy Easter, everybody,” said the president, hand-in-hand with his younger daughter as he walked by the press pool.

The press responded back, apparently not enthusiastically enough, causing the first lady to laugh and say: "Malia said you all sound so glum.”

The pale-yellow church across from the White House has been a presidential favorite over the years. Reverend Dr. Luis Leon welcomed everyone to what he described, a very "broad church."

He delivered an uplifting sermon about the mystery of Easter and the resurrection with a message of perseverance in faith and life.

In the prayers of the people, the congregation prayed: "Guide and bless us in our work and play, and shape the patterns of our political and economic life; we pray for Barack, our president, the leaders of Congress, and the Supreme Court, and all who are in authority."

After communion, the president, followed by the first lady, smiled and greeted other worshipers as they made their way back to a pew about six rows from the altar.

As the choir sang "Hallelujah," they left the church holding hands as they walked back to the White House.

In the president’s weekly address, he described Easter as a time to “reflect and rejoice.”

“We remind ourselves that no matter who we are, or how much we achieve, we each stand humbled before an almighty God.”

The president said the Easter season was not exclusive to Christians. “No matter how or whether we believe can identify with elements of His story. The triumph of hope over despair. Of faith over doubt. The notion that there is something out there that is bigger than ourselves. These beliefs help unite Americans of all faiths and backgrounds.”

The president celebrated his first Easter in the White House at St. John’s. Since then the first family has attended several churches in Washington.

Last year, the Obama’s worshipped at Shiloh Baptist Church, which was founded by freed slaves in 1863.

In 2010, they joined the congregation at the Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

This was his 14th trip to church since he has been in office.

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