Mitt at prayer: Mormon reporter covers his trip to Mormon church service—UPDATED

Last week brought us a glimpse at Paul Ryan attending church.  This week, it’s Mitt Romney’s turn.  An interesting item from the New York Times “The Caucus” blog, which posted excerpts of today’s pool report from McKay Coppins of Buzzfeed:

“Following an hourlong drive from their Concord, NH hotel, your pool arrived in Mitt Romney’s Wolfeboro neighborhood at about 9:00 am. After getting swept, we joined the Romney motorcade at 9:50 and are en route to a Mormon church service nearby. Campaign aides say reporters will be allowed into the service with the governor. We haven’t seen him yet.

(As luck would have it, your pooler is a Mormon who regularly attends church services – though generally not with secret service. Should be fun.)

Romney arrived at church at about 10 am just as the service was beginning. He was accompanied by his wife Ann, as well as his son Tagg’s family (wife and 6 kids).

In the parking lot, Romney was greeted by an elderly couple.

“Welcome back,” the woman said, giving Romney a hug.

“Thank you,” he said, smiling broadly.

The family then made their way into the chapel, and sat toward the back of the congregation of less than 100. A member of the “bishopric” was making announcements, including an upcoming trip to the Boston temple, and a local young man who’s been called to serve as a missionary in California.

Romney, wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt, and blue tie, sang along to the opening hymn, “How firm a foundation.”

After a second hymn, “He died, the great redeemer died,” young men clad in white shirts and ties passed out the sacrament — small pieces of white bread and cups of water that symbolize the flesh and blood of Jesus, similar to Catholic communion. Taking the sacrament is a sign of repentance for sins committed in the past and a commitment to follow the commandments in the future.

Romney, Ann (wearing a long pink patterned skirt and a white blouse) and everyone in Tagg’s family took the sacrament. At one point, the boy passing out the bread moved in before Gov. Romney got to take it, and Tagg signaled for him to return so he could partake.

Read it all. 

UPDATE: President Obama went to church this Sunday, too:

President Barack Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, walked across Lafayette Square on an overcast Sunday in the nation’s capital to attend mass at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

During the sermon, the Rev. Michael Angell spoke about what he called “a summer of violence.” He mentioned recent shootings, including the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, that killed 12 people late last month and the shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that killed six people earlier this month.

Readings during the service included Ephesians 5 and John 6. The first family took Communion from Angell following the sermon.

This is not the first time the president has attended services at St. John’s. Earlier this year, on Easter Sunday, the president attended services there with his family. That was the last time Obama publicly attended church.

Throughout his almost four years in office, Obama has attended a number of different churches in Washington. According to the White House, the president and his family have attended services at nine different churches, including the historic Washington National Cathedral, Shiloh Baptist Church and others.

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