Easter Outside

If you google sunrise Easter service you will find an outdoor worship somewhere near you. All across the world, Christians gather on Easter Sunday at the beach, in the woods, on mountain tops, in fishing boats, in parks, and even on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

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There’s something special about celebrating outdoors with the soundtrack of seagulls, or the touch of a gentle breeze and the pink and orange sunrise. Here are a few of the unique places Easter worshippers spend their holiday each year.

Gathering together in the shadow of the mighty USS Alabama in Mobile Bay is a unique way to spend Easter Sunday. Sponsored by the Government Street Baptist Church, this service brings members and visitors together to remember fallen WWII patriots and the Resurrection of Jesus in one inspiring setting.

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In Puerto Rico worshippers share the words “Resucito” or He Is Risen in mass at their favorite church at midnight or early on Sunday morning, but then it’s all about the food as families gather together outside for a large feast and the opening of the beach season. Rice and beans, savory codfish stew and coconut pudding are common, and don’t forget the mofongo, or mashed plantains.

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In Berks County PA, a century old tradition of Easter worship is held atop Mount Penn at the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower. Bundled up in winter coats in the dawn chill, worshippers gather on the lawn beneath the 120 foot brick fire tower lit with a cross and watch the sky brighten over the city of Reading and the Schuykill River below. 2022 was particularly meaningful since the gathering had been affected by pandemic restrictions the previous two years.

Of course, one of the most common places to find an outdoor Easter service is on the coast. In Jacksonville Beach, FL locals and tourists gather each year with lawn chairs to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and sing hymns with The Grateful Bread band. The annual Beaches Ministerial Association combines the efforts of several local beach churches to host this worship service at the SeaWalk Pavilion. Funds collected during the offering go to provide food and assistance to the local homeless and low income families through BEAM and Mission House.

So did you get outside this Easter for a sunrise celebration? If you didn’t, make time today to be joyful and thankful and try getting out at dawn. The grandeur of a simple sunrise is always powerful.

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