Easter Son Rise at Sunrise

Easter arrives March 31, but before diving into those baskets of treats, consider joining one of Tallahassee’s churches for their annual sunrise service.



Photo by Scott Holstein

Lake Ella provides a beautiful, natural backdrop for the outdoor sunrise service at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Easter morning.

Easter arrives March 31, but before diving into those baskets of treats, consider joining one of Tallahassee’s churches for their annual sunrise service. Grab a coffee, a comfy lawn chair and your frequent reading companion, the Bible, for an unforgettable morning at church. Easter observes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and service-goers believe seeing the sunrise mirrors the emotion Jesus felt when he emerged from the tomb. Seeing the darkness of the closing night turn to light with the rising of the sun can be a truly emotional and spiritual experience. Jesus’ resurrection happened early in the morning, and was discovered by the women who came to his tomb to anoint his body. Many churchgoers attend sunrise services around the country to honor this morning miracle.

“Just to see it getting lighter throughout the service, reminding us that darkness doesn’t overcome light — that God continues to be with us — and to be able to see the beauty of creation, is a beautiful religious experience unlike any other,” explains the Rev. Nathan Adams, associate pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

St. Paul’s conducts its sunrise service in collaboration with Faith Presbyterian Church, bringing additional seating to their outdoor chapel on the shore of Lake Ella. The service is timed so that the sun rises as the sermon ends, with a brass quartet or quintet in the background greeting the morning with beautiful music. Passersby often listen to the amplified service and are welcome to join in.

This is just one of many outdoor sunrise services held in and around Tallahassee. A few other outdoor services available this year are at John Wesley United Methodist and Trinity United Methodist, and there are also events in St. Marks, St. Teresa Beach and Havana. Of course churches will be bursting at the seams with worshippers at services held indoors for the occasion. Whatever the venue, Easter is a celebration of the rising of the Son.

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