"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two stood by them in shining garments. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead. He is not here, but is risen." (Luke 24:1-6)
Easter sunrise services have been growing in popularity in recent years.
Moravian sunrise services, which originated in the graveyards of Moravian churches, remain the best known. The traditional outdoor Moravian service in Winston-Salem, N.C., attracts up to 35,000 people from many Christian denominations each year.
The symbolism of a sunrise service is tied to the Biblical description of Jesus resurrected from the tomb and the greeting of the dawn of a new day as a symbol of new life.
In the Washington area, these are the locations of some of the sunrise services Sunday:
The Lincoln Memorial, Constitution Avenue near Memorial Bridge, at 6:30 a.m., sponsored by the interdenominational Capital Church of Falls Church, Va.
The Memorial Amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery, 6:30 a.m., sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Chaplains from local Army, Navy and Air Force installations will conduct the service and the U.S. Marine Band and the Army Chorus will present music. Parking will be provided in the Arlington National Cemetery Visitors Center parking, and tourmobiles will furnish free transportation from the parking lot to the amphitheater.
Great Falls Park visitors center, Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion Drive, Great Falls, Va., 6 a.m., sponsored by the Great Falls Ecumenical Council and the Dranesville Church of the Brethren. The Rev. Gordon D. Loux, executive president of Prison Fellowship and president of Prison Fellowship International, will speak. An ecumenical choir will sing and a youth group will pantomime the resurrection of Jesus in front of the falls.
Carter Barron Amphitheater, 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW, 6 a.m., sponsored by the Council of Churches of Greater Washington. Bishop John L. Meares, pastor of Evangel Temple, Washington, will speak.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Georgia Avenue and Elder Street NW, 7 a.m., the Rev. Dr. Bruce W. Thielemann, dean of the chapel at Grove City College, Grove City, Pa., will speak. The U.S. Army Band will be among groups providing music.
The Capitol steps, 7 a.m., sponsored by the Christian Center Ministries interdenominational church in Alexandria, Va. Gospel singer Doug Oldham will sing.
The National Naval Medical Center's Lake Eleanor, off Wisconsin Avenue on the grounds of the medical center, Bethesda, 6 a.m. The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band and Sea Chanters, the band's 19-voice mixed chorus, will provide music. In the event of rain, the event will take place in the center's amphitheater in Building No. 10 of the new hospital complex.
Burke Lake Park Amphitheater, 7315 Ox Rd., Fairfax Station, Va., 7 a.m., sponsored by Ravensworth Baptist Church of Annandale. The Northern Virginia Baptist Student Union will present dramatic selections from "I Saw Him."
Forest Memorial United Methodist Church, 3111 Forestville Rd., Forestville, Md., 6:30 a.m., sponsored by the Forestville and District Heights area churches.
Evans Farm Inn, 1696 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, 6 a.m., sponsored by the clergy of McLean. In the event of rain, the service will be held at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 1545 Chain Bridge Rd.
The Grotto of Lourdes, Grotto Road off U.S. Rte. 15, Emmitsburg, Md., north of Thurmont, Md., 5:30 a.m., ecumenical service, followed by a 6:30 a.m. Catholic mass.