President Obama dedicated his weekly address to the celebration of two religious holidays this week - Easter and Passover - and urged Americans to engage in prayer and reflection over the weekend.
"For millions of Americans, this is a special and sacred time of year," President Obama said. "This week, Jewish families gathered around the Seder table commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the triumph of faith over oppression. And this weekend, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will join Christians around the world to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hopeful promise of Easter.
"In the midst of all of our busy and noisy lives, these holy days afford us the precious opportunity to slow down and spend some q
uiet moments in prayer and reflection," he added.
The president will be in Washington, D.C., over Easter weekend. And on Monday, the first family will welcome Americans to the White House for the annual Easter egg roll festivities.
"This weekend, I hope we're all able to take a moment to pause and reflect, to embrace our loved ones, to give thanks for our blessings, to rededicate ourselves to interests larger than our own," he said. "And to all the Christian families who are celebrating the Resurrection, Michelle and I wish you a blessed and joyful Easter."
The Republicans used their weekly address, delivered by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., to not only spread well-wishes for Easter and Passover, but also to advocate for the building of the Keystone XL pipeline to lower energy prices.
"The Keystone XL pipeline is a no-brainer," Terry said in the GOP address. "The people and the Congress have spoken. The experts have weighed in. Now it's the time to build the Keystone pipeline. No more delays, no more politics. If the president continues to drag his feet, Congress is prepared to act.
"Doing all of this isn't just about the dollars and cents. It's about coming together to solve longstanding problems to ensure our children will have the same chances, the same hope and freedoms we've had," he said. "These are the blessings we celebrate during the rites of Easter and Passover. It's a time to unite in prayer and celebration - to renew traditions, lift up our spirits and tell old stories that remind us how trials and suffering can be overcome with courage and resolve. It's a time for perspective. If we look for opportunities to work together and seize on them - if we choose to build on and not squander past sacrifices - we come that much closer to realizing the promise of a more perfect union and peace for one and all."