Easter — which many Christians consider the holiest day of the year — is Sunday (April 1).
Also referred to as Resurrection Day and Pascha, Easter is the Christian holiday celebrating Jesus Christ’s return from the dead.
Area churches are celebrating the day with special services planned for this weekend.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church has a Vigil Mass at 8 p.m. today. Easter Mass at the church is 8:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Sunday, with a performance of special music by the church choir. An Easter Mass at St. Aloysius in North Arm will be celebrated at 7 a.m. Sunday.
Lake Ridge Christian Church celebrates Easter with three different services on Sunday at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. The sermon is “The Death of All Deaths,” and the Easter choir is featured at all of the Sunday services. In addition, the church is planning a special 5 p.m. service today.
A Sonrise Service is 6:30 a.m. Sunday at the Paris Otterbein United Methodist Church with the sermon “The Grave In the Garden.” A breakfast for all worshippers follows in the church’s downstairs fellowship hall. A special Easter service with Holy Communion is 9 a.m. and Pastor Jeff Stahl’s message for that service is “Our Eternal Hope.” The youth of the church will present a special program. Stahl delivers the same sermon to worshippers at 10:30 a.m. Sunday for the Vermilion United Methodist Church Easter observance.
The Horace Baptist church has Sunday school at 9:30 a.m., a morning service at 10:30 a.m. and an evening service at 6 p.m. on Easter. The morning service includes a celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and a message on the resurrection of Christ. The evening service is a special presentation on the Old Testament feasts of Israel, emphasizing Passover, and the Sunday school lesson is a history of the Jewish temples in the Bible.
A 6 a.m. sunrise service begins the Easter Sunday celebration at Nevins Christian Church with the sermon “Jesus loved opponents.” The regular service is 10:30 a.m. and features the sermon “It is Not On A Milk Carton,” emphasizing people do not have to look for Jesus because he is present.
The Rev. Michael Dixon delivers the message “Living the Light: Telling,” at the First Christian Church Easter services at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday. The message discusses the scriptures Luke 24:1-11 and Luke 24:44-49. A breakfast is served in the church fellowship hall following the early service.
Bell Ridge Christian Church’s sunrise service is 6:30 a.m. followed by a breakfast. Sunday school is 9:30 a.m. and the Easter worship service at 10:40 a.m. features a volunteer choir performing an Easter Cantata.
The Presbyterian Church will have a 9:30 a.m. Easter egg hunt for children through fifth grade instead of regular Sunday school. The sermon for the 10:30 a.m. service is, “Mark’s Jesus 6: The Victor.” A Sonshine fun-theme puppet presentation is featured during the service along with special anthems by the church choir, including “The Hallelujah Chorus.”
A sunrise service is planned at New Providence Presbyterian Church at 6:30 a.m. followed by a breakfast. At 9:30 Sunday school starts and the Easter Sunday service is 10 a.m., with the sermon delivered by Norm Wilson.
First United Methodist Church has two Easter services at 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. with the sermon titled, “Sweet Victory.” Holy communion is part of both services. An Easter egg hunt after the second service is for the children in two age groups of 0-5 years old and 6-12 years old. The hunt is outside weather permitting or in the church basement if it is raining.
Community Bible Church’s sunrise service is 7 a.m. The 9:30 a.m. Sunday school is followed by the morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. featuring the sermon, “The Necessity of the Resurrection.”
Paris First Church of Nazarene is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt at 2 p.m. today, at the church for children between birth and age 12. The egg hunt is open to the public. On Easter Sunday the church serves a breakfast at 9 a.m. The morning worship service is 10:30 a.m. and features the message “Why I Believe in the Resurrection.” The youth of the church have a special presentation during the regular service.