CrossLife Bible Church
Following the Orthodox midnight service, many churches, including Westminster's CrossLife Bible Church, offer a sunrise service. The Rev. Quintin Merson, of CrossLife, said the congregation wishes to live the story as much as is possible at their service.
"When the ladies went to the tomb, they went early in the morning, so that's why we go out at sunrise," Merson said. "There's a connection to standing outside in the elements. It's about putting yourself into the story, and that's what I do as a pastor, put the congregation in the Bible, so they can apply the story to themselves."
The sunrise service is set to begin inside the CrossLife Bible Church at 6:30 a.m. There, the congregation reads the story of Easter. When Christ's empty tomb is discovered, they leave the church to watch the sun rise and finish the tale.
At 10:30 a.m., a second service is held, this time featuring an Easter Cantata, a musical tribute to the holiday. Merson said the Cantata provides a musical telling of the story of the resurrection and another way to connect the congregation with the story of Christ.
"Music is a very powerful tool that reaches down to the heart and soul. It stirs the emotion," Merson said. "It's a message of love. Our world is filled with love songs, that's what our cantata mirrors."
Though many other churches hold their Easter Cantatas earlier in Holy Week, Merson said he wanted to tie together the themes of Christ as savior through song and sermon.