The Faith to Go Podcast
An Easter Sunrise Breakfast
Getting up before dawn to watch the sunrise is a special treasure that is not easily forgotten in life. This Easter morning tradition of a sunrise breakfast creates a sacred space in which memories are cultivated for life. Some families already have this tradition and gather together in community for a sunrise service. For those who don’t, however, why not do it at home?
Breakfast can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. The most important element is simply gathering together as a family and enjoying the time together.
How To Do It:
1. The night before, set the table. If possible, consider setting up outside on a balcony or deck, or near a window to see the sunrise. Also, prepare as much of breakfast ahead of time as possible. Breakfast can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
2. Plan to wake everyone in time to be ready at the table about 10-15 minutes before sunrise. Here’s a website to figure out what time that will be where you are.
3. Gather first at your home altar with all of the items now returned that you collected throughout the week and have been put away since Maundy Thursday. Light your Paschal Candle, and take time to go through the items on the altar and remember when and why we put them there. When you are done, make your way to the breakfast table, and bring your Paschal Candle with you to set in the center of your meal.
4. Serve breakfast and have everyone seated. Begin with a prayer of your own or use this one:
“God of darkness and light, we give you thanks for this Easter morning. As we sit here in the dark, we are excited to experience the resurrection in a new way as the sun rises and light fills the sky. Help us to have a meaningful breakfast together as a family. Amen.”
5. Begin to eat breakfast together and have someone read the passage slowly and deliberately.
John 20:1-18 Early 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. So 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.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and 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. They 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.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus 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.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
6. Read the first line again:
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…” (20:1a, NRSV)
1) Is it still dark outside? This is the time of day when Mary went to the tomb.
2) How do you think Mary felt when she went to the tomb in the dark? What would it be like for you at this time of day to be surprised by something so unbelievable? Are you still sleepy? Have your eyes adjusted to the light yet?
3) What does it sounds like outside at this early hour? Is it quiet? Is it noisy?
7. Enjoy breakfast together and notice as it gets brighter and day breaks. Share any thoughts and experiences that come to mind. Ask questions that occur to you or use one (or more) of the following:
1) What part of the Gospel reading is most interesting to you or sticks out the most?
2) Does the light happen all at once, or does it seem to get light outside gradually? What does this tell us about the resurrection?
3) In the reading, Mary calls Jesus ‘teacher.’ What did Jesus teach Mary? How is Jesus a teacher to you?
4) How do you think people felt when they realized that Jesus was alive? Did different people feel differently?
5) ‘Resurrection’ means coming back to life. What are some things that remind you of resurrection in the world?
6) Have you ever found something that you thought was gone forever? What did that feel like?
8. Close your time together with a prayer of your own or use this one:
“Thank you, God, for this resurrection breakfast, a time to focus on you and the mystery of resurrection. Help us to celebrate Easter and to share its message of hope and promise. Amen.”
Notes And Variations: The beauty of this tradition is that it starts Easter morning with a spiritual focus and centers the day in family and faith. This tradition is a great foundation on which to build other traditions as the years go by.
Option 1: Add your own special recipes and surprises at breakfast.
Option 2: Use different scriptures and prayers in different years.
Option 3: Add songs or other readings that are meaningful in your family.