We have been honored for the second year to participate in the annual Easter Sunrise Service in Erwin, Tenn., a courtesy of Valley Funeral Home managed by funeral director, Mike Peterson.
I make my way in the dark to the NC/Tenn. overpass before dawn to arrive at Evergreen Cemetery just before the first light of the day. A small gathering of dedicated people, dressed warmly for the cold mountain temperatures and slight rain showers, are awaiting this meaningful Easter Sunrise Service. The small crowd all join in prayers and song to celebrate with enthusiasm in their voices. As Christians, there is a strong connection to the symbolic meaning of this holiday.
As the sun slowly rises over the mountains and the songs rise to the occasion, the finale of 20+ pure white doves are released from two white baskets symbolizing the joyous recognition of Christ arising.
All eyes are on the doves as they circle once, twice and or three times. There was a quiet feeling of gratitude as we all witnessed the doves join and fly off into the horizon.
And this is how Easter morning began…for one small group of worshipers in their community in Erwin, Tenn. this March 31st, 2013.