Sunrise services on Easter Sunday have a rich tradition in the Christian faith, dating back to the 1700's in Eastern Europe.
Congregations gather at daybreak every year, mostly for outdoor services, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and symbolizing the empty tomb found by his disciples the first Easter morning.
There are many sunrise services scheduled in the community this Sunday (sunrise is 6:57 a.m., by the way, with clear skies and temperatures in the low 60s expected).
Two of the more popular services every year are at Stone Mountain Park and at .
Stone Mountain's 67th annual service begins at 7 a.m. with non-denominational gatherings on top of the mountain and at at the Memorial Hall Terrace. It costs $10 for park entry (church buses and vans are free) and Skyrides up the mountain are $5.50 one way, $7 for children and $9 for adults (the walk up, which will take 30 minutes to an hour is free).
Around 500 people are expected for Salem's service, beginning at 6 a.m. The 175-year-old church, located at 4700 Church Street in Lilburn (at the intersection with Killian Hill Road) will host attendees on the lawn in front of its crosses.
Here's a list of Easter Sunday sunrise services planned at churches in the area:
, 50 Harmony Grove Road, Lilburn: 7 a.m. service, followed by breakfast 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
Lilburn Alliance Church, 5915 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker: 7:30 a.m. service.
, 175 Luxomni Road, Lilburn: Together with Colonial Woods Baptist, 7:30 a.m., followed by breakfast.
, 1004 Oak Road, Lutheran: 8 a.m. with Holy Communion.
, 4700 Church Street, Lilburn: "Gathering at the Cross" service begins at 6 a.m.
, 801 Tom Smith Road, Lilburn: 7 a.m. Mass.
, 1826 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn: 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.
There are Easter Egg hunts scheduled this weekend, too:
, 1400 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn: 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday on the church grounds.
, 50 Harmony Grove Road, Lilburn: Community East Egg Hunt, Saturday (Gates open at 10 a.m.; hunt is 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.).
Lilburn Alliance Church, 5915 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker: 2 p.m. Saturday.
, 175 Luxomni Road, Lilburn: 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Luxomni Ballfields.
, 1004 Oak Road, Lutheran: 9:15 a.m. Sunday, breakfast and egg hunt.