What better way to start off Easter Sunday than with the Sunrise
Sunrise service is a worship service held at first light Easter
morning. Due to the focus on the sunrise, these service usually
take place place outdoors or in a room with lots of windows (as is
often the case when services are held on the peak of a ski
Many churches in the American South still hold traditional sunrise
services in cemeteries as a sign of recognition that Jesus no
longer lay in the tomb on Easter morning.
One of the most famous Sunrise Service in the United States is
in Winston-Salem, NC. More than six thousand worshipers gather
before dawn front of the church to proclaim the Resurrection. The
worshipers then process in silent prayer to the historic graveyard,
they call "God's Acre." Brass choirs with over five hundred
members, play hymns during the procession.
In Washington D.C., thousands of individuals gather at the
Lincoln Memorial for the ecumenical "Sunrise Celebration" Easter
service, an Washington tradition for Christians of all
denominations that goes back for more than three decades.
Locally, there are also many popular Easter Sunrise Services to
choose from in addition to other Easter celebrations, for those
hoping to sleep in just a bit longer.
In Rutland, Grace Congregational Church will hold a Sunrise
Service, Sunday March 31, at Mill Village Chapel at 6 a.m.
In Killington, Sunrise Service will be held at the Snowshed
Lodge. Doors open at 6 a.m., with the service set to begin at 6:30
a.m. A community breakfast will be held after followed by an Easter
Egg Hunt for kids.
In Woodstock, the First Congregational Church holds an annual
Easter Sunrise Service at the South Peak of Mt. Tom. Walkers gather
at the church at 6 a.m. and carpool to Faulkner Park before hiking
to the summit where the service is held around 7 a.m. The
congregation brings food to share for a very informal fellowship
breakfast following the hike. All are welcome to the breakfast
which begins "as soon as the fastest hikers descend" organizers
say, which is around 8 a.m.
In Pittsfield, the Pittsfield Federated Church is planning an
outdoor Easter Sunrise Service and "A Presentation of the Complete
Story of Easter," at 7 a.m in the Hawley's Meadow behind the
Pittsfield Fire Station on Route 100. Regular church service will
be held at 9 a.m. in the church sanctuary on 3885 Vermont Route
100, followed by Fellowship time with coffee and Easter Hot Cross
"We are planning and preparing for a real over-the-top
presentation of the Easter story," said Pastor Howard Gunter, from
the Pittsfield Federated Church. "We expended a fair sum of money
for some visuals that will help portray much of the Easter story
that is rarely included. We also produced a 15-page booklet/program
that follows the presentation and includes a good bit of
information to clarify and explain… It will be first class!"
The Pittsfield service will also include live music performed by
several local musicians, including The Rochester Federated Church
Bell Ringers and the Brass Ensemble. The new visual elements
include a replica of the front of a temple with a purple curtain
symbolizing the Arc of the Covenant.