The sun also rises on Easter in the District

More than 5,000 people expected for Sunday’s sunrise service

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Dumb luck or divine intervention, the weather cooperated for the first Easter Sunrise Service at the Lincoln Memorial in 1979, and for the Rev. Amos Dodge, it meant the start of a tradition marking its 36th anniversary this weekend.

People of any faith — or those who simply enjoy a monumental sunrise — are invited to attend this year’s service, one of many special events around the District to mark Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

“It’s a magnificent place for a sunrise, probably one of the best places on the planet for a sunrise” said Mr. Dodge, pastor of Capital Church in Fairfax County. “Sitting on the Lincoln steps, the audience is actually facing east. As the sun comes up and over the Capitol Dome, the Washington Monument, the Reflecting Pool — it’s magnificent.”

Last year, more than 5,000 people attended the service, and Mr. Dodge said he expects a similar crowd, if the weather cooperates. Early forecasts show sun and temperatures in the mid-60s.

Mr. Dodge said the service will go on, rain or shine, so bring blankets, seats, and umbrellas if necessary.

Capital Church is interdenominational, and Mr. Dodge said his sermon sticks to the traditional Bible narrative of Easter Sunday — the resurrection of Jesus.

Easter is joyful, Easter is a celebration,” he said. “Christ rose from the dead, so it’s a happy occasion.”

Easter Sunday caps the 40-day Lenten season, with Holy Thursday and Good Friday marking a somber start to the weekend.

St. John’s Church in Lafayette Square, across from the White House, is hosting a meditation on the Stations of the Cross from noon to 3 p.m. on Good Friday.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is holding a Stations of the Cross at noon Friday.

And The Church of the Epiphany, just blocks from the White House, is offering a Good Friday service that’s only 40 minutes, the Rev. Melanie Slane said.

“It’s great for people who work downtown,” she said. “They can come in on their lunch break.”

A “burial of Christ” ceremony at the Franciscan Monastery in Northeast begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Monastery spokeswoman Susan Gibbs said the burial traces a path similar to the one performed in Jerusalem, at the site where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried.

“It’s really different,” Ms. Gibbs said. “It’s the only one I know of in this area.”

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