Vice President Joseph R. Biden was officially sworn in to a second term of office Sunday morning at a small ceremony at the Naval Observatory, hours ahead of President Obama's expected inauguration in a similar ceremony at the White House.
Surrounded by friends, family and former colleagues from the Senate, Mr. Biden took the oath administered by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at 8:21 a.m., then headed over to Arlington National Cemetery for a traditional wreath-laying with Mr. Obama.
Sunday's private inauguration will be followed Monday by a larger ceremony at the Capitol, where Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama will retake the oath of office in front of hundreds of thousands of well-wishers.
Mr. Biden took the oath on a family Bible that he had used every time he was sworn in to the Senate and in 2009, when he took the oath as vice president for the first time.
He made a few brief remarks to the 120 guests, explaining that Justice Sotomayor was due in New York and that he had to be over at Arlington, but that he would return for a breakfast.
Earlier in the morning, Mr. Biden and his family attended Mass.
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