rainbow watercolor background with text that reads "Easter Sunday with Lutheran Campus Ministry-Twin Cities

Easter Sunday Sunrise Service // April 12, 2020

To Prepare for Today:
  • Prepare a lavish breakfast the night before with all of your favorites, so there is little to do Easter morning! Make it a celebration!
  • If possible, rise before the sun, take your lavish breakfast, and find a place inside or outside where you can view the sunrise (even in a car, parked at an overlook or a lake if it’s too cold).
  • You can listen to our Easter Sunday Spotify playlist to celebrate the day with after the service.

This day in 21st Century churches is often filled with trumpets, and lillies, and packed pews of people in their Sunday best. It’s followed by Easter Egg hunts, and brunches at packed restaurants, or in homes with friends and family. It’s a mish-mash of cultural and religious traditions, and it’s such a beautiful way to celebrate Life triumphing over death.

This year’s Easter will be a bit more subdued likely. It will be quiet, like the first one was. It will require attention to detail, to the still small voice inside of you. And it can still be an incredibly powerful experience.

We’re not striving to recreate a Sunday morning experience here, but instead to invite you into the quiet of our time. To proclaim that Christ conquers death, even without all the fanfare. Perhaps especially without all the fanfare. As you prepare for your own Easter worship, consider preparing from a place of abundance and celebration, if possible. Put caramel on your rolls, buy two kinds of fresh berries, consider having sparkling juice or champagne, bring out the chocolate if you buried it for Lent – whatever feels festive for you. Christ is alive! Alleluia! It’s important to rest, and to celebrate, even, and perhaps especially, in the midst of really hard times.

Gathering Song – My Hope is Built by Nate Houge – Go here to listen.

One: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
All: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

From the darkness of the grave
Blood poured out, a crown of thorns
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
All: Alleluia!

From the triumph that is won
Over the power and fear of death
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
All: Alleluia!

Walking from the empty tomb
Opening wide the gates of life
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
All: Alleluia!

God of life
You defeated death
To show that we can rise
From all that binds us to the world
Pride, envy, anger, fear
All that holds us here
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
All: Alleluia!

God of life
You defeated death
To demonstrate a love that is
Beyond our understanding
That reaches out even to me
Saving Grace to all who hear
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
All: Alleluia!

God of life, we pray
For all who bring your word of life
As a light to those in darkness
For those who bring your word of peace
To those enslaved by fear
For those who bring your word of love
To those in need of comfort
Lord of love and Lord of peace
Lord of resurrection life
Be known
Through our lives
and through your power
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
All: Alleluia!

Reading – John 20:1-18

John’s gospel describes the confusion and excitement of the first Easter: the stone is moved, disciples race back and forth, and angels speak to a weeping woman. Then, Jesus himself appears.

As you read, or listen, consider what words or phrases stand out to you? Where do you hear hope? Where do you hear confusion? As this reading intersects with your life and context, what might the Holy Spirit be calling forth from you?

1Early 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. 2So 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.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and 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. 13They 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.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus 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.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus 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.’ ” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Talk with those gathered together, or journal about what you heard in this text. What words or phrases stood out to you? Where did you hear hope? Where did you hear confusion? As this reading intersects with your life and context, what might the Holy Spirit be calling forth from you?


You might simply offer prayers for the church, God’s creation, and all those in need. If you’d rather use something a bit more structured, the prayers below will be prayed by churches across the country on Sunday.  

Uplifted by the promised hope of healing and resurrection, we join the people of God in all times and places in praying for the church, the world, and all who are in need:

God of resurrection, from the very beginning you give the church the gift of women as your witnesses: as preachers, teachers, and leaders. Open our ears to their proclamation this day and always. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

All your creation praises you—the earth hums, the seas pulse, the stars shine, and the galaxies whirl in glorious harmonies to honor you. Let us hear and blend our voices in the song. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Be with those who are leading in unprecedented times, through unchartered waters.  Grant them humility, the capacity to collaborate, and keep their hearts always tuned to those on the margins of our society, and the ones most vulnerable among us. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We still weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn. Cradle the fearful, the suffering, and the dying, assuring them of your loving presence. Be with those who are alone in hospitals, with the ones who love them. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

Risen Lord, you went ahead of us into the grave and defeated the powers of evil and death. Inspire us to live our lives in this resurrection hope and draw us to you in our final days. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Joining our hearts as one, we close by praying together the prayer that Jesus taught us:
Our Creator, our Mother, our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

Bless One Another

May the One who brought forth Jesus from the dead
raise you to new life, fill you with hope,
and turn your mourning into dancing.
Almighty God, Creator, Redeemer, and Holy Spirit,
bless you now and forever.

Christ is risen, just as he said.
Go in peace. Share the good news. Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!