Rev. Andrew Chaney, senior pastor at First & Calvary Presbyterian Church, will give the opening prayer Wednesday. Chaney was invited to Washington by a member of his church, Rep. Billy Long, a Springfield Republican.
The prayer has to meet certain requirements: It cannot be more than 150 words and must be free from personal political views or partisan politics, and free from sectarian controversies or intimations pertaining to foreign or domestic policy.
Chaney says he is excited about this opportunity.
"This is a congregation informing me and speaking through me as the pastor to the country. That's the biggest honor because this congregation is filled with people who give their lives to serve the people of Springfield and I'm so glad to be able to represent them," said Chaney.
Father Pat Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, says the prayer also has to be inclusive of all religions.