Easter Sunrise

Sunrise in Sheridan Wyoming, April 12th, 2020 is at 6:29 a.m.

Getting up in the dark of early Easter morning is a challenge for some, but that challenge is part of what makes Easter Sunrise compelling. During the social distancing, Easter morning will still arrive, and most people in any place or situation may rise early to greet the Risen Christ. What follows is a brief order for a sunrise service.

Go outside if possible. Declare in call and response:

The Light of Christ. Thanks be to God!

Listen to this Tanzanian Hymn #364 “Christ Has Arisen Alleluia” www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmWgMeD5cmg

1 Christ has arisen, alleluia!

Rejoice and praise him, alleluia!

For our Redeemer burst from the tomb,

even from death, dispelling its gloom.

Refrain

Let us sing praise to him with endless joy;

death’s fearful sting he has come to destroy.

Our sin forgiving, alleluia!

Jesus is living, alleluia!

2 For three long days the grave did its worst

until its strength by God was dispersed.

He who gives life did death undergo,

and in its conquest his might did show.

3 The angel said to them, “Do not fear.

You look for Jesus, who is not here.

See for yourselves the tomb is all bare—

only the grave-clothes are lying there.”

4 “Go spread the news:

he’s not in the grave;

he has arisen this world to save.

Jesus’ redeeming labors are done.

Even the battle with sin is won.”

5 Christ has arisen to set us free.

Alleluia, to him praises be!

Jesus is living! Let us all sing;

he reigns triumphant, heavenly King.

Words: Bernard Kyamanywa (b. 1938) © 1968 Lutheran Theological College, Makumira, Tanzania, admin. Augsburg Fortress; tr. Howard S. Olson (1922-2010) © 1977 Howard S. Olson, admin. Augsburg Fortress

Prayer

Almighty God, Jesus conquered death and offered to us your salvation. Grant that we who greet our risen Lord may follow him from the empty tomb into eternal life, for he lives and reigns with you forever. Amen.

Gospel Reading

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

After the Gospel reading, declare three times:

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia!

A conversation about the story, or a period of silent reflection may follow the scripture reading.

Responsive Prayer

Persons worshipping by themselves may want to use singular pronouns. However, it is also appropriate to keep them in the plural as we pray in solidarity with Christians around the world, as we do with the Lord’s Prayer.

Let us pray:

For Christians throughout the world who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus this Easter morning, that we may know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For leaders of the nations and cities of the world, that they may be wise in their administration of government during this pandemic, and selflessly serve the common good, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who tend the sick and dying, that they fulfill their vocation without undue fear of personal danger, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who are sick and those alone in quarantine, that they may find comfort and care in their time of need, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the earth you have given to our care, and for all creatures who share it with us, that you may be glorified in all your works, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For other concerns, [expressed here], Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With bold confidence in your love, almighty God, we place all for whom we pray into your eternal care; through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray… Our Father… [Here pray the Lord’s Prayer]

Hymn

- sing, or read or play - Jesus Christ Is Risen Today www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh6ZTFmQhZE

1 Jesus Christ is ris'n today, Alleluia! our triumphant holy day, Alleluia! who did once upon the cross Alleluia! suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia! 2 Hymns of praise then let us sing Alleluia! unto Christ our heav'nly King, Alleluia! who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia! sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

3 But the pains which he endured, Alleluia! our salvation have procured; Alleluia! now above the sky he's King, Alleluia! where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

4 Sing we to our God above Alleluia! praise eternal as his love; Alleluia! praise him, all ye heav'nly host, Alleluia! Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!

Blessing

The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit is with us all! Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Risen Lord. Thanks be to God.

Shout three times:

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia!

+++

Another idea Virginia Theological Seminary : https://buildfaith.org/easter-sunrise-at-home/

An Easter Sunrise Breakfast

Serve breakfast and have everyone seated.

Opening Prayer

God of darkness and light, we give you thanks for this Easter morning. As we sit here in the dark, we are excited to experience the resurrection in a new way as the sun rises and light fills the sky. Be with us as we celebrate Easter, and receive this breakfast together as a family. Amen.

Begin to eat breakfast together and have someone read John 20:1-18 slowly and deliberately.

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Breakfast and Holy Conversation

Enjoy breakfast together and notice as it gets brighter and day breaks. Share any thoughts and experiences that come to mind.

Read the first line again: “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…” (20:1a). Is it still dark outside? This is the time of day when Mary went to the tomb. Ask, “How do you think Mary felt when she went to the tomb in the dark?” Ask questions that occur to you or use one (or more) of the following:

• What part of the Gospel reading is most interesting to you or sticks out the most?

• Does the light happen all at once, or does it seem to get light outside gradually? What might this tell us about the resurrection?

• In the reading, Mary calls Jesus ‘teacher.’ How is Jesus a teacher to you?

• How do you think people felt when they realized that Jesus was alive? Did different people feel differently?

• ‘Resurrection’ means coming back to life. What are some things that remind you of resurrection in the world?

Closing Prayer

Thank you, God, for this resurrection breakfast, a time to focus on you and the mystery of resurrection. Help us to celebrate Easter and to share its message of hope and promise. Amen.


from: Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home, Chalice Press: 2017. Traci Smith has spent more than 15 years helping families find meaningful connections in living their faith together. In listening to families’ stories and trying creative approaches, she has seen lives change as parents nurture faith and children learn about God in new ways. You can find more of Traci’s writing and family resources at www.traci-smith.com.