Easter Sunrise Service Leura

The Easter Sunrise Service

Since 2007 an ecumenical celebration of Easter
has been held at the Leuralla Ampitheatre.
NB.  The Easter Sunrise Service will not be celebrated in 2021

Ecumenical easter day announcement 1Apr20

Below is the text of the 2018 Easter Sunrise Service,
with some photographs from the Service.

Easter Sunrise 2018 cover

Easter Sunrise Celebration 2018


undecorated cross

Flute Solo

Presider: Welcome and acknowledgement


Presider: O Risen Saviour,

All: We rejoice in your resurrection.

O Risen Saviour,

All: We proclaim your glory.

O Risen Saviour,

All: We open our hearts to your new life.

O Risen Saviour,

All: All creation rejoices in your presence.


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

Christ is alive, with joy we sing;

we celebrate our risen Lord,

praising the glory of his name.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

He is the grain of wheat that died,

sown in distress and reaped in joy,

yielding a harvest of new life.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.


He is the sun which brings the dawn:

he is the light of all the world,

setting us free from death and sin.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Christ is alive, with joy we sing;

we celebrate our risen Lord,

praising the glory of his name.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.




(Voice 1)   The Spacious Firmament
The spacious firmament on high, with all the blue ethereal sky,

and spangled heavens, a shining frame, their great Original proclaim.

The unwearied sun from day to day does his Creator’s power display;

and publishes to every land the work of an almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail, the moon takes up the wondrous tale,

and nightly to the listening earth repeats the story of her birth: whilst all the stars that round her burn, and all the planets in their turn,

confirm the tidings, as they roll, and spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though in solemn silence all move round the dark terrestrial ball?

What though no real voice nor sound amid their radiant orbs be found?

In reason’s ear they all rejoice, and utter forth a glorious voice;

forever singing as they shine, “The hand that made us is divine”

Joseph Addison

Voice 2 O Christ the Risen One, sanctify this new fire, a symbol of the fire of your glory, and as we participate in these Easter celebrations may we be inflamed with desires to bring your love to our families, our country, our war torn world and to our Mother Earth.

Voice 2 Be for us: All:
a sacred fire ……………………. sanctifying us
a fire of compassion ………. warming us
a fire of forgiveness ……….. healing us
a fire of purification ………… cleansing us
a fire of creativity……………. inspiring us
a fire of justice………………… summoning us
a fire of love……………………. rekindling us
a fire of passion………………. empowering us
a fire of the Divine………… illuminating us.
O Fire of God…………………. transform us, free, O set free, the fire within us.

The Lighting of the Easter Candle

       The Paschal Candle is lit and held up.

Presider: The light of Christ

All: Thanks be to God.

Presider: Come Liberating Christ, rise to meet us!

Banish the darkness of our fears.

Hear the wounded cries of our world.

Release us from the tomb of powerlessness

into the empowered living of your liberating Easter Light.

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 Easter glory fills the sky (all stand)

Easter glory fills the sky, alleluia,

Christ now lives, no more to die, alleluia;

darkness has been put to flight, alleluia,

by the living Lord of Light, alleluia.

See, the stone is rolled away, alleluia,

from the tomb where once He lay, alleluia;

He has risen as he said, alleluia,

glorious firstborn from the dead, alleluia.

Magd’len, wipe away your tears, alleluia:

He has come who calms your fears, alleluia;

hear the Master speak your name, alleluia;

turn to him with heart aflame, alleluia.

Seek not life within the tomb, alleluia;

Christ stands in the upper room, alleluia:

risen glory he conceals, alleluia,

risen body he reveals, alleluia.

Gospel Dialogue – The Three Women

3 women

  1. we went there…
  2. First thing…
  3. The three of us.
  4. It was very damp…
  5. There was a heavy dew…
  6. You could see the sun rising.
  7. We took some flowers…
  8. I picked them on Friday…
  9. And we took some perfume…
  10. We thought there would be a smell…
  11. You know the way corpses go…
  12. I was scared.
  13. It was just us…
  14. The men wouldn’t come…
  15. They were scared like me.
  16. We ran up the road…
  17. We were out of breath…
  18. But we walked through the graveyard.
  19. We wondered about the stone…
  20. Who would roll it away?
  21. We should have brought the men.
  22. And then we looked…


  1. I went in first.
  2. I was terrified.
  3. I never wanted to go.
  4. There was nothing there…
  5. There were just bandages…
  6. Right where we had left him.
  7. But nobody…
  8. And then we heard a voice…
  9. But it wasn’t his voice.
  10. It said he was risen.
  11. It said he wasn’t there.
  12. It said we had to tell the others.
  13. So we’ve got to go back…
  14. But who will believe us?
  15. They’ll think we’re mad.
  16. We’ve to tell the others…
  17. But they’ll never believe us…
  18. They’ll say that we are stupid women.
  19. But the stone was rolled away…
  20. and the body wasn’t there…
  21. And we did hear a voice…

1,2,3.   AND HE IS RISEN.

Voice 3 Mark 16:1-8

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Contemplative Drumming


Voice 4 Reflection

Ever-renewing and energizing Creator,

come, stir our dormant spiritual limbs.

Wake up our tired prayer.

Revive our weary efforts of care.

Sing hope into our discouragement.

Wash our dusty, drab attitudes

with the cleansing rains of your vision.

Go deep to our roots and penetrate our faith

with the vibrancy of your grace.

Shake loose the old leftover gum leaves

of our tenacious self centredness.

Coax joy to sprout from our difficulties.

Warm the buds of our relationships

so they bloom with healthy love.

Clear out our scattered debris

with the wild breezes of your liberating presence.

Nudge us, woo us, entice us, draw us to you.

We give you our trust and our gratitude

as you grace our slowly waking spirits.

Light-filled Being, our Joy and our Hope,

Let the greening in us begin!

Joyce Rupp adapted from Out of the Ordinary


Hymn: Now the Green Blade rises   (All stand)

Now the green blade rises

from the buried grain

wheat that in the dark earth

many days has lain:

love lives again,

that with the dead has been:

Love has come again,

       like wheat that springs up


In the grave they laid Him,

Love whom hate had slain,

thinking that He never

would awake again,

laid in the earth,

like grain that sleeps unseen.

Love has come again,

       like wheat that springs up


Up He sprang at Easter,

like the risen grain,

He who for the three days

in the grave had lain,

raised from the dead

my living Lord is seen:

Love has come again, …


When our hearts are wintry,

grieving, or in pain,

then your touch can call us

back to life again –

fields of our hearts

that dead and bare have been:

Love has come again, …



Praying the Easter Stories

Women: Risen One, Source of Amazement, I run to the tomb of life, I hurry to see for myself. When I look with eyes of faith, I am amazed at what I find. That which seems dead and forsaken holds wisdom and teachings for my life.

Men: Risen One, Tomb Opener, you are the power I need. Roll away the stones of unloving. Push back the rocks of discontent. Shove aside the boulders of worry. Untomb me and set me free.

Women: Risen One, Full of Compassion, you are with me as I walk the continuing road of sorrow and joy. Stay with me. Your presence nourishes my hunger. Your love feeds my desire for goodness. Stay with me and fill me with the strength of your compassionate nearness.

All: Risen One, Sacred Teacher, you send me forth with blessing. You bid me tell the powerful story of your risen life. May I tell this story again and again through the witness of my life, by the quality of my love, and by the courage of my words.

Transformation of the Cross

Voice 5: I invite you to hold the flower you have received and to think of some part of you that is in need of transformation.

Pause in silence

Before we transform the cross with our flowers may we remember others who need the risen Christ’s transforming love.

Voice 5  As we transform the cross ….. AllMay all our hearts be warmed with transforming love.
As we transform the cross….. May those struck down by floods and earthquakes be filled with new strength and hope.
As we transform the cross…. May the sick, the grieving and the fearful be comforted and supported.
As we transform the cross… May the rebuilding of suffering communities be done with wisdom and compassion.
As we transform the cross… May our Mother earth be preserved and restored to new vitality.

Voice 5: Come and transform the Cross with our flowers as we join in singing the Taizé chant,

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful, In the Lord I will rejoice!

Look to God, do not be afraid;

Lift up your voices, the Lord is near: lift up your voices, the Lord is near.

cross candle close


We say together, from the Aramaic translation, the prayer Jesus taught us:

O Breath of Life, who flows in all creation,

May the light of your presence fill the universe,

your way of being come, your desire be done,

in this and all realms of existence.

Bring forth the nourishment we need for this day.

Forgive the failures that bind us,

as we let go of our hold on other’s failures.

And let us not be satisfied with the surface of life,

but deliver us from wrong paths.

For you are abundant life, creative unity and glorious harmony,

through all time and beyond. Amen.



Voice 6 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 7: Let us pray to our God who has given us new life in the resurrection of Christ. May we radiate with Christ’s glory.
(All respond)

  • 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 church, in the community and in the family.
  • 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.

Hymn: Yours be the Glory (All stand)

Yours be the glory, Jesus, holy one,

Risen up in triumph, splendid as the sun.

To anoint your body grieving women came

And with joy departed, hastening to proclaim:

Yours be the glory, Mary’s much loved son

Risen up in triumph, Jesus Holy one.


Radiant you meet us, risen from the tomb,

Lovingly you greet us, scatter fear and gloom.

Let your folk with gladness hymns of triumph sing;

You live now amongst us, death has lost its sting.

Radiant you meet us gracious as a groom;

Lovingly you greet us, risen from the tomb.

Yours be the glory, never setting sun,

Star yet brightly burning when life’s day is done!

Dawn breaks forth from darkness overcoming night.

Star of morning glorious, flood our world with light!

Yours be the glory, God’s beloved son,

Star forever burning never setting sun!


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.

Songs by permission. Leura UC CCLI Licence No. 300742

Taizé composed by J.Berthier) (c) Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France.

We also express thanks to

Jane Elworthy     flute/drum

Julie Cooney       trumpet

Miriam Cooney    oboe/viola

Brenda Szabados cantor


Louise Mattay

Joy Connor

John Leaney

Delma Marland

Carolyn Craig-Emilsen

Lorraine White

Perce Marland

Jacinta Shailer sgs

Moya Weissenfeld sgs

Denise Hartman

Paul Speter

Cover Art: Jacinta Shailer sgs

Breakfast:  Lorraine White

Ushers: Iris Swan, Kathy Garland

Lights: Stephen White

… and to all who take part in celebrating the Resurrection

Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed!


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