Do you have an Easter Sunrise service? Does it actually begin early in the morning on the first day of the week while it was still dark? Or is the sun well up by the time you begin? Indoors or out? What’s the rain plan?
Easter, and sunrise services in particular, feels like one of those services when it’s super tempting to just do what we did last year. Quite a few of the people who come haven’t been here since Christmas Eve, and they have pretty specific desires about music, atmosphere, and message. And when it’s early in the morning, it’s hard to imagine doing something creative because it just requires a level of alertness neither we nor congregants may possess (unless we’re those morning people…).
So, sunrise worship goers or leaders, what’s your plan? What do you hope people will experience? What words or images will help create the atmosphere and convey the message at a sunrise service?
Teri Peterson says
We don’t do sunrise–though on years when daylight saving time and easter coincide more closely, the first service at 8am has been not far from sunrise. lol.
The only time I’ve led a sunrise service, it rained buckets and buckets. We ended up sitting under the eaves of the building for the service. it was dark the whole time, in spite of being well past sunrise time when we ended. We had recorder accompaniment for our singing, which was really lovely. If I were to do it now, we’d go out in the meadow where our community garden is, and we’d probably use flute or recorder, and there would decidedly NOT be a printed bulletin. I might even try having a more interactive sermon.
Martha Spong says
We do it! This year I have the timing better. We’re behind a line of trees, and the sun comes over them about 10 minutes after official sunrise. That’s 6:09 this year. So we’re starting at 6:15, and by the time we sing the resurrection verse of “Were You There” we should see it glimmering on the treetops.
It’s not the same as being on the coast, where my first church does a service. I love that. My kids still talk about it every year.
This year we made a rain plan, to be indoors at the church at 6:30. We have a fantastic breakfast after the sunrise service, so that will attract people, rain or shine.
We have one at a member’s house. We have lots of rolling hills around here so usually we’ll have it outside on a hill where you can really see the sun come up. It’s a very simple service: a few hymns, some prayers, a reading of the Easter story and that’s about it..it lasts about 15-20 minutes and then we all eat breakfast together. It’s really a nice service.