Easter is Sunday and the beloved Sunrise Service at the Lincoln Memorial, which goes back more than 40 years, has returned to Washington, DC.
Thousands are expected to attend in-person and online after COVID-19 brought the tradition to a halt over the past few years.
WATCH the event below:
Organized by Capital Church, it is one of the nation’s largest Easter services. Pastor Amos Dodge told CBN News’ Faith Nation how the tradition got started.
“In the spring of 1979, I was walking on the mall, praying for the city and headed toward the Lincoln Memorial,” he said. “I had a thought, which now I know was a whisper from Heaven, ‘Have a sunrise service at the Lincoln Memorial.’ So we did … 127 people came and now these years later, only God knew what was going to happen at the Lincoln every Easter.”
And this year, Pastor Marc Batterson with National Community Church (NCC) will assist with hosting the special service.
Batterson explained that he took part in the Sunrise Service after first moving to DC.
“When my wife and I first moved to DC, we actually attended the sunrise service at the Lincoln Memorial. It marked us as such a special moment and I would have never thought that all these years later that Pastor Amos would be kind enough to extend an invitation,” Batterson noted. “It’s a joy to be able to partner with them. It is such a significant event, not just for the Kingdom, but I think for the city and our country at large.”
Pastor Batterson explained why it’s an honor to be a part of the long-standing tradition.
“There’s something about the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall that it feels like you’re speaking to the nation and that carries a certain weight,” he said. “So, we’re excited about declaring the resurrection of Jesus Christ over our city, over our nation. It’s going to be a special moment to have thousands of voices praising the name of Jesus and we cannot wait.”
He continued, “We are preaching hope, preaching faith, and I think we’re doing it at a moment where we so desperately need it. It’s going to be such a wonderful moment.”
Lastly, Pastor Amos pointed out that he hopes people watching the event will be moved by the Holy Spirit.
“I think what we’ve discovered through the years is that it’s a great opportunity to meet people from so many different walks of life and so many different denominations. We also have different faiths and they’ll come to hear the story.”
Pastor Amos added that it’s an amazing opportunity, which he considers “an assignment from God.”