The Constitution does not specify who has to administer the oath of office, but the chief justice has done the honors for the president since 1797, when John Adams, the second president, took the oath of office.
Obama will take the oath using two Bibles, one owned by Abraham Lincoln and another by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Washington's Inaugural Bible, which he kissed after the oath, has been used by four subsequent presidents including George W. Bush.
Obama will likely be sworn in, as he was in 2009, using his full name, Barrack Hussein Obama. The president, otherwise rarely uses his middle name.
There is no set rule on using one's full name. Jimmy Carter was sworn in as Jimmy Carter and not James Earl Carter, and Ronald Wilson Reagan went with Ronald Reagan. Obama's three most recent predecessors -- George Herbert Walker Bush, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton and George Walker Bush -- all went with their full birth names.
After a morning prayer service at St. Johns Church and coffee at the White House, President Obama will ride to the Capitol.
When a president-elect is replacing a sitting president, as Obama did in 2009, the two men ride together, with the outgoing president sitting on the right side of the limousine's back seat and the president-elect on the left.
Technically, the President Obama will be sworn in on Sunday, Jan. 20, in a private ceremony at the White House. He will be sworn in again ceremonially at the Capitol on Monday.
Historically, as president of the Senate, the vice president was sworn in at a separate ceremony inside the Senate Chamber and then delivered an inaugural address. Since 1937, the same year Inauguration Day was moved from March 4 to January 20, the vice president has been sworn in outside the Capitol along with the president and no longer makes a speech.
If past vice presidential addresses are any indication, nixing the veep's address was probably for the best.
"The most famous, or infamous, vice presidential inaugural address was Andrew Johnson's in 1865," Bendat said. "Johnson wasn't feeling well on Inauguration Day and medicine back then was different. Someone suggested he drink some whiskey to take care of his ailments. By the time he made his speech, he was drunk and rambling incoherently. No one could understand what he was saying. It was pretty embarrassing."
In keeping with an old tradition Obama has invited two religious leaders to give the invocation and benediction prayers, pastors Myrlie Evers-Williams and Luis Leon respectively. In keeping with a newer tradition started with Kennedy, Obama also has invited poet Richard Blanco.
With any luck Obama's preachers and poet will have an easier go of things than those Kennedy tapped in 1961.
While Cardinal Richard Cushing, archbishop of Boston, was delivering the invocation the lectern caught fire -- the result of faulty electrical wiring -- sending marshals scurrying to douse the flames.
Robert Frost, who was 87 in 1961, had written a poem especially for the occasion. A bright glare off snow that had fallen the night before prevented Frost from being able to read the poem he had written, "Dedication," opting instead to deliver "The Gift Outright," a poem he had written earlier and committed to memory.
Frost's quick thinking is often remembered, but what is less remembered is that the aged poet accidentally dedicated the poem to John Finley, a Harvard professor, instead of Kennedy.
Frost's was not the only gaffe that day. Instead of promising to uphold the Constitution and support government "without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion," during the recitation of his oath, Vice President-elect Lyndon Johnson said "without any mental reservation whatever."
Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the oath at Obama's first inaugural. When asking Obama to recite the oath, Roberts put the word "faithfully" in the wrong place, prompting Obama to pause when delivering it. To make sure the oath was Constitutionally up to snuff, it was re-administered by Roberts in the White House that night.