Biden will 'seek after the heart of God' as president, says pastor giving inauguration benediction

Joe Biden(Photo: Reuters)

The pastor delivering the benediction at next week's inauguration of Joe Biden says the incoming US President "will be seeking God's grace daily."

Rev Silvester Beaman, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, has been selected to deliver the benediction at the ceremony on Wednesday.

The pastor is a longtime friend of the President-elect and last summer welcomed him to his church to speak on racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd. 

He believes Biden will look to his Catholic faith to guide him in office over the next four years.

"This final blessing over the event is God's opportunity to cover the nation in grace as we launch the Biden-Harris administration," Beaman said in a Facebook post.

"I personally know that President Biden will seek after the heart of God, it has been his lifestyle over the years. In his toughest moments it has been the light of God's love that has guided and sustained him." 

He continued: "It is an extreme honor and seminal moment to have been asked by President-elect Joseph R. Biden to pronounce the benediction during the 59th Inaugural Celebration in our Nation's Capital, January 20, 2021.

"There is nothing more strenuous or crucial than being the leader of the free world. Therefore he will be seeking God's grace daily."

The invocation will be delivered by Jesuit theologian Fr Leo J O'Donovan, who presided over the funeral of Biden's eldest son Beau, after his death from brain cancer in 2015 aged 45. 

Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem.  

Outgoing President Donald Trump has already said he will not attend the inauguration. He is reported to be heading to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida instead.