Visual Devotions for Holy Week – Easter Sunday

Post a Comment » Written on April 11th, 2009     
Filed under: Formation, Holy Week, Uncategorized

“Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!”  This joyful proclamation dates back at least to St. John Chrysostom, a Church Father from the fourth century.  It was included in one of his Easter sermons that is still read today in Orthodox churches around the world. 

This is the most important day, and the most important event, in Christian faith:  the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  The consequences of our Lord overcoming death reverberate throughout the universe, and eternity.  Death no longer has the final say!  We have been restored to God!  Once again we can have that intimate relationship with God Himself that was fractured in the Garden of Eden since the time of Adam.  We no longer need to fear evil, sin, death, and the devil.  God declared, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)  This is more than a promise; it is a reality!  New life is ours, through Jesus Christ himself.  We never need to be the same again.  We can rise to new life with Christ through His resurrection.  “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (II Cor. 9:15)

Speak this Call to Worship out loud, and sense the excitement of today, Resurrection Day:

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He has made us Easter people by raising Jesus from the dead.

Rejoice, then, even in your distress.

He has called us from darkness to light.

Christ is risen! 

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Death has been defeated!

The grave has lost its grip!

The power of sin has been broken!

Christ the Lord is risen!

Hope is reborn!

Life is eternal!

Love is invincible!

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Praise God  for His victory over death

Praise God for his gift of eternal life.

Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!

(from the Covenant Book of Worship)


Easter sunrise service at the Garden Tomb in 2006.

Worship leaders at the sunrise service—imagine singing “Up from the grave he arose!” right here, in front of the Garden Tomb!

The service was packed—not a seat left anywhere on the grounds.  I was blessed to be in the first row of worshipers, above these young people who were crammed onto the steps.

Order of worship for the sunrise service.

Christians from all over the world were here to worship at the Garden Tomb.

The Hilmar Covenant Church tour group visiting the Garden Tomb in June of 2006. 


Easter worship at the Holy Sepulcher Church.  It was jammed here as well; you could hardly move through the crowds, it was so tightly packed.

The worship and the “look” of the service at the Holy Sepulcher Church were quite different from the Garden Tomb.  Beautiful, formal, stately—and the choir sang the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah, just as we often do at Hilmar Covenant Church on Easter Sunday.


The Tomb of Christ inside the Holy Sepulcher Church on Easter Sunday 2006.

Greek Orthodox clergy and leaders process around and around the Tomb of Christ during the service on Easter.  The outfits, the candles, the banners—it is all very dramatic, perfect for the grandest drama of all:  Christ’s resurrection!


This photo was taken from inside the Garden Tomb, looking out to the world.  Maybe this is the view that Jesus had when he was resurrected on the first day of the week!  Whether it is or not, the message on the door says it all:  “HE IS RISEN!”  Hallelujah!  Amen.


Prayer for Today:  O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by this glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy:  Grant me so to die daily in sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.  (from “Praying the Divine Hours” by Phyllis Tickle)


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