Easter Sunrise Service Leura

The Easter Sunrise Service

Since 2007 an ecumenical celebration of Easter has been held at the Leuralla Ampitheatre.

Below is the text of the 2017 Easter Sunrise Service.

Following are some photographs of the service


2017 easter cover





Easter Sunrise Celebration 2017


Bamboo Flute Solo

fire flute

Presider: Welcome and acknowledgement


Presider: Christ is risen and brings new life.

We rejoice and confidently pray:

By your resurrection:

All:         show us the light of life.

By your resurrection:

All:         speak to us the word of life.

By your resurrection:

All:         pour out on us the Spirit of life.


Hymn: Christ the Lord is risen today    (All stand)


Voice 1

God, the Cosmic Dancer, we praise you.
You who choreograph the solar flares,
The orbits of the planets
and the wild careening of comets and meteors.
You who can name every ancient rock
in the Asteroid Belt,
you who can tango with
typhoons and twisters and tornadoes.

All: Come dance with joy among us.


Voice 2

God, the Awakener, we praise you.
You who patiently call forth
More and more complete images of Yourself,
until a species is born that remembers fully.
You who send prophets into every age
to nudge religion into spirituality
and to move us from mere belief-in-gods
to experiences of the God-within and the God-among-us.

All: We praise you.


Voice 3

We ask that we become fully awake.
and mindful of our true nature,
that we become aware of our core essence,
which is Christ-consciousness.
Help us to awaken, O God of the Cosmic Dance.

All: Help us to awaken.


Prayer over the Fire

Voice 4   O God, we share in the light of your Son, the light of the world. Make this new fire holy, and inflame us with new hope and compassionate love. Purify our hearts and minds by this Easter celebration so that we may spread this fire of love wherever we go.

The Lighting of the Paschal Candle May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel any darkness of our hearts and minds.

Presider: The light of Christ

All: Thanks be to God.

Ifire cross

An Ancient Hymn, the Exultet  (all stand)

Rejoice, heavenly powers!
Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour,
Radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, all you people! Exult in glory!
The risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
Echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!


Hymn: Christ is alive, with joy we sing (all stand)



Gospel Matthew 28: 1-10     NJB

After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre.

And suddenly there was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow.

The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they were like dead men. But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has risen from the dead and now he is going ahead of you to Galilee; that is where you will see him.” Look! I have told you.’

Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. And suddenly, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings,’ he said. And the women came up to him and, clasping his feet, they did him homage.

Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; there they will see me.’


Silence                        while flute plays




Risen One,
Come, meet me
In the garden of my life.
Lure me into elation.
Revive my silent hope.
Coax my dormant dreams,
Raise up my neglected gratitude.
Entice my tired enthusiasm.
Give life to my faltering relationships.
Roll back the stone of my indifference.
Unwrap the deadness of my spiritual life.
Impart heartiness in my work.


Risen One,
Send me forth as a disciple of your unwavering love.
A messenger
Of your unlimited joy.

Resurrected One,
May I become
Ever more convinced
That your presence lives on,
And on, and on, and on.
Awaken me!
Awaken me!         Joyce Rupp



Hymn: Jesus is Risen, Alleluia   (All stand)


Ritual of Light


Presider: God of Light, as we gather to place our lit candles round the cross, we yearn to bring the light of forgiveness, compassion and peace into our fragmented world. Accept our symbols of light as a sign of our united efforts to radiate friendship, and an ever-brighter perspective of hope to all we meet each day.


(As we join in the Taizé singing let us come quietly, have our candles lit, and place them by the Cross.)

cross candles LM

Taizé  Bless the Lord my soul


Presider: Thanksgiving for the Light


We praise and thank you, O glorious God!
Your power lifts the great light in the heavens
Your glory shines forth in the risen Son,
Your presence permeates the whole of creation.
Let us live in the light.



Rejoice, O holy people, in the great Light:
On this day Jesus was raised from the dead,
and now lives for ever at the right hand
of the eternal God.
Let us live in the Light.



As the sun rises in the east
and light fills the escarpments and ravines,
keep us safe in this Light that never fades.
We praise and thank you for your blessings,
through the risen Christ our Light,
for ever and ever. Amen.





Hymn: Lord of the Dance (all stand)



Australian Autumn


Australian Autumn
and Eastertide…
seasons of letting go:
of trees converting
their short brilliance
to new colours and designs
of emptiness
which draw life
into the heart-wood.

Australian Autumn
and Eastertide…
season of open ears
and listening to a story
of women
and of angels,
of tombs
and emptiness
beating at disciples’ hearts
and colouring their days.


Australian autumn
and Eastertide…
for a woman,
no clinging
to an earthbound Jesus,
but a knowing and a naming
and a new mission
to the brothers
from a Risen Lord
fresh-flowered in a garden….

                  Verna Holyhead sgs




Voice 5:

Let us pray with Easter faith.

Risen Christ, you call us to be your witnesses:

       All: send us forth in the power of your Spirit.

Risen Christ, your presence brings new life

       All: give life to women and men, little children and babies in need of your healing.

Risen Christ, you promised to send the Advocate:

       All: breathe wisdom into the hearts of all.

Risen Christ, you breathe on us the gift of peace:

       All: Make us all people of peace and reconciliation.



As we savour the words of the Psalm “O taste and see that the Lord is good,” we feed on our good memories and remember how we have been blessed with God’s love through our relationships. We also remember being nourished by moments of wonder and beauty as we felt our interconnectivity with the whole of creation. We recall our experiences of the generosity of another’s care and concern when we tasted the compassion of God. This Easter season calls us to celebrate the Risen Life of Jesus. It is also an invitation to welcome the stirrings and marvels of death being overtaken by the promise of life in this glorious autumn season. It is a time to taste the wonders of God’s goodness in the seasonal cycle of life overturning death. Risen Christ, our Easter world is filled with your gifts. We raise our hearts in gratitude. Joyce Rupp


Presider: We are God’s people

Loved and cherished.

     All: We go out in joy.

We are God’s people

Called and challenged.

     All: We go out in joy.

We are God’s people

Refreshed and forgiven.

     All: We go out in joy


Hymn: Yours be the Glory (All stand)



Let us greet one another with a sign of Christ’s Peace


Please join us for breakfast ($3)
at the Leura Uniting Church, corner Grose & Megalong Streets


In appreciation

We express our thanks to the Evatt family for their generosity in allowing us to use the Amphitheatre.


We also express thanks to



Julie Cooney       trumpet

Clare Cooney      violin

Jonathan Xue      bamboo flute

Helen Mann                  flute


Louise Mattay

John Leaney

Jacinta Shailer sgs

Joy Connor

Peggy Goldsmith

Stephen White

Sister Moya Weissenfeld sgs

Sister Maree Nash sgs

Lawson Good Samaritan Community

Cover Art: Jacinta Shailer sgs

Breakfast:  Lorraine White

Ushers: Iris Swan, Stephanie Garland

Lights: Stephen White, Denise Hartman




… and to all who take part in celebrating the Resurrection



Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed!