Easter Sunday Dawn Service (4 April 2021)

4 Apr 2021 by Genelle N (Service) , Rev Paul Bartlett (Reflection).Sarah M (Photo) in: Worship Services: 2021

Easter Dawn Service – 4 April 2021

Sunrise – 6.09am        




Entry to worship:

We have come to this sacred place again this year, out of the busyness of the world.

From the noise and colour and frenzy around us.

Here we can gather together, listening for the sounds that silence brings, and the gentle murmuring that nature offers us.  And witness the breaking of a new day.

As we listen and as we watch, let our minds wander and our feet connect us to the earth – Rex AE Hunt


Silence – walk to spot where the service will be held



For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked in this land, on their own country. Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.

We acknowledge the Gweagal People of the Dharawal nation and their stewardship of this land throughout the ages.

Opening Sentences

Life is a gift for which we are grateful.


AllWe gather in community to celebrate the glories and mysteries of this great gift. – M.Montgomery/Slt

Look at this day! For it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendour of beauty.

For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision,

but today, well lived, makes every yesterday, a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

All: Look well, therefore, to this day(Sanskrit)


Bible Reading: Luke 24: 1- 12 (NIV)

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Leader:  O Risen Saviour

All:  We rejoice in your resurrection.

Leader:   O Risen Saviour

All: We proclaim your glory

Leader: O Risen Saviour

All:  We open our hearts to your new life

Leader: O Risen Saviour

All:  All creation rejoices in your presence



Christ the Lord is Risen today: Hallelujah!

Sons of men and angels say Hallelujah!

Raise your joys and triumphs high: Hallelujah!

Sing, O heavens, and earth reply Hallelujah!


Love’s redeeming work is done;

fought the fight, the battle won;

vain the stone, the watch, the seal;

Christ has burst the gates of hell.


Lives again our glorious king;

Where, O death, is now your sting?

Once he died our souls to save;

Where’s your victory, O grave?


Soar we now where Christ has led,

following our exalted Head;

made like him, like him we rise;

ours the cross, the grave, the skies.



Let us pray:

We believe that death is not the end, but rather a transformation into new possibilities.

Nothing that exists is ever completely destroyed. A star exploding or a leaf falling: both offer new possibilities and will 'live on' in ways unknown to stars and leaves.

Winter gives way to Spring; what seems lifeless now abounds with life, new possibilities and delights.

We, too, experience new possibilities arising from our failures or disappointments or what has come to an end...

We give thanks for all the influences in our lives that have helped us see beyond the present

and have called us to live in hope and trust whatever endings we have experienced.

We give thanks for the Spirit of New Life active in our lives as it was in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Amen – Michael Morwood/adaptred


Song – Sound of Justice by Brad Ellis – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRrEjjoDNPk

See the tears fall from the child’s eyes

If only we would love them

In walks the poor man, weak with nothing

If only we would love him.


Pray the world would learn to love now

All the world reach him with love now.


Hear the sound of justice rolling in

See history’s made, with love today


See the rich one, searching for hope

If only we would love them

Lonely widow, in despair now

If only we would love her.


Pray the world would learn to love now

All the world reach him with love now.


Hear the sound of justice rolling in

See history’s made, with love today

Hear the sound of justice, here it comes

See history changed, with love today.


Justice will come, when we reach out in compassion

Justice will come, when we stand up for the broken

Justice will come now, rolling in God’s love.


Hear the sound of justice rolling in

Hear the sound of justice, Here it comes.

Reflection: - Paul Bartlett


On that first Easter dawn, the women who brought spices to anoint Jesus’ body were overwhelmed with grief. Their lives had been like a deep fog of the heart, senses and mind since the terrible events of what now seems like an eternity ago, from last Thursday night to Friday afternoon.

Their beloved Master, Teacher and friend whose touch and words set people free, this gentle life transforming man has died and all that he taught us now seems out of reach. Today we can’t even remember what he told us last week, let alone 3 years ago when we joined him who had so deeply touched our own lives as we sustained him in his ministry throughout Galilee, Samaria & Judea. 

We all know what it is to be overwhelmed by grief, to have our hopes dashed. To have to try and start life again. Today at this very time of the day we walk with these women.


And because our senses can only take in so much and because what they were about to experience and encounter, we receive these stepping stones to a renewed faith and to Jesus’ resurrection:

Stone rolled away – no body - grave clothes neatly folded (in other Gospels) – 2 men in dazzling white (angels?) and their words, oh their words ‘he is not here’, ‘he is risen’ ‘why do you look for the living amongst the dead’ and ‘remember how he told you’.


Then the women ‘remembered Jesus’ words’ about being handed over, being crucified and rising again. This is also the phrase which Clopas and his wife shared after they journeyed with a stranger on the road to Emmaus on the evening of that 1st Easter Day.


All of today’s readings about Good Friday and Easter Day, are shared in community.

This is nowhere more evident than in Luke’s account today. He tells us that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James & the others with them were there and then when they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven & to all the others.


In all that today can mean, we are invited to share and celebrate, in community, for this is not just a story of individual hope and renewal but of hope and renewal for all who are made in God’s image and for all of God’s creation.


Today we remember and give thanks for ‘the others’ unnamed, who journeyed with the women and for the others gathered behind lock doors. We too are these ‘unnamed ones’.


Today we are invited to remember the words of Jesus we might have forgotten or which we long to hear. What might they be for you?

Do you still look for the living amongst the dead? Focused on the past and not on the future?

Do you long to hear you called by name, as Mary was in the Garden?

Do you long to have your hearts ‘as if on fire’ as he talked to them on the Emmaus Road?

To see and place your fingers in the nail marks in his hands?

To be confronted by a blinding light as Saul of Tarsus was on the Damascus Road?

To hear the words ‘Peter, do you love me?’ as a meal of fish was cooked, by Jesus.


May you journey today in the company of those gathered here and with family and friends.

May we remember in the lives that each of us live, that Love is stronger than hatred, forgiveness is stronger than bitterness and Life is stronger than death. For Christ Jesus is risen.

Everything has changed. To His name be praise and glory. Amen



Let us pray:


We listen and we watch …

In the cycle of seasons we come again to Easter.

Out of our hearts we feel the urge to new being –

To worship at the shrine of our hopes, to gain perspective on our lives.

To reorder the chaos of our years, to reflect on the way our hearts should go, to reaffirm our deepest aspirations.



In the holy quiet we come:

We want peace and that quiet serenity born of insight,

We want beauty, the inner sanctuary of sounds and sights and air,

We want courage, the inner fortitude to live our own lives.

May we strive to be worthy of this great life that out of the old brings forth the new.

All:  Amen  - Rev Rex Hunt


Scripture in Song 276


Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord

Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.


Jesus is Lord of all the earth. He is the King of creation…


Spread the good news o’er all the earth. Jesus has died and has risen…


We have been crucified with Christ. Now we shall live for ever…


Come let us praise the living God. Joyfully sing to our Saviour…


Statement –

Leader “… because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation…..” – 1 Peter 1:3 (NLT)

All: Just like new shoots push their way to light and life through the charred bark of a burnt tree, the risen Jesus gives humanity its brightest sign of hope - a reason to live with great expectation


Leader: Let us pray to our God who has given us new life in the resurrection of Christ.

May we radiate with Christ’s glory.



That we might recognise and greet Christ in the stranger.

That we may help the young find inspiration for life’s journey in encounters with people of integrity and compassionate wisdom.

That women may experience dignity and respect in the workplace, in the community and in the family.

Where we perceive injustice, prejudice or hate - offer love, hope and a voice,

That those in our society who have lost hope may hear the voice of the Risen One.

That we may experience being sent forth with power to proclaim the Good News.


Closing Blessing

Lord, You have arisen forever in my heart!

May the sunrise remind me to shine in Your light.

May the caress of a gentle breeze, remind me of Your compassion.

May the fragrance of a flower, remind me to blossom in Your love.

May the singing of birds, bring a song of joy to my lips.

And in the closing of each day, may I remember to quietly pray.

Wherever I am, whatever I do, may my thoughts in joy return to You!

Go in peace to love and serve the Risen Lord.


Alleluia, Alleluia!


Resources used in the preparation of this service:

  • Morwood, M.- Praying a New Story. Richmond Spectrum Publications 2003
  • Hunt, Rev. Rex AE – Sermons, Liturgies, Prayers & Articles from Progressive/ post-liberal religious perspective – EasterSunriseC2019
  • Hunt, Rev. Rex AE – Liturgy for the Celebration of Life – Easter Sunrise 2019
  • Photos of  Dawn, Heathcote Oval by Sarah M