(CNSNews.com) – Both President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will swear their oaths of office Friday on historic Bibles used by former Republican Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced.
Trump will be sworn-in by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts using the same Bible that President Lincoln used during his swearing-in by Chief Justice Roger Taney on March 4, 1861.
In addition, Trump will also use another Bible that was given to him by his mother in 1955 when he graduated from Sunday Church Primary School at the First Presbyterian Church in New York.
President Obama was the only other chief executive to take his oaths of office on the Lincoln Bible, which is part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, in January 2009 and again in January 2013.
“In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature,’” PIC Chairman Tom Barrack said. “As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country.”
Pence will be sworn-in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas - who will become the “first African-American in history to administer the oath of office to the Vice President or President of the United States” - using the Reagan Family Bible. He will be the first official since Reagan to do so.
The Reagan Family Bible is on permanent display behind bulletproof glass at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. During Pence's swearing-in, it will be “open to the same passage used during President Reagan’s two inaugurations,” according to the PIC.
That passage is from II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
“President Ronald Reagan placed his faith in a loving God and the goodness of our country. He set out to change a nation and in doing so, he changed the world,” said Pence, who credits Reagan for his conversion from a Democrat to a Republican.
Although swearing the presidential oath of office is mandatory under Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, doing so on a Bible is not. But the tradition goes back to George Washington’s Inauguration in 1789, when he was sworn-in on a Kings James version.
“The National Archives is displaying the first and last pages of Washington’s inaugural address and the Bible upon which he swore the oath of office” through January 25th, according to Smithsonian.com.