A Bucks County parish celebrated Easter with an outdoor sunrise Mass that brought tears of joy to several participants.
Some 300 faithful gathered on the baseball field at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Warminster for last Sunday’s 6:30 a.m. liturgy, trading the pews for lawn chairs as pastor Father Joseph Watson – an avid Phillies fan – presided from an altar between second and third base.
(Watch of video of Father Joseph Watson bless attendees at Nativity of Our Lord Parish’s outdoor Easter sunrise Mass.)
Among various Christian denominations, Easter sunrise commemorations – which reflect the early morning visit to Christ’s tomb by Mary Magdalene and her companions, an event detailed in all four Gospels – have been popular for several centuries.
But COVID gave the tradition an added impetus, said Father Watson.
The sunrise Mass “(provided) an opportunity for our parishioners who have not received the Eucharist in over a year to have a means to do that where they felt safe,” he said. “Being outdoors and socially distant provided that sense of safety and protection.”
Parishioner Maureen Sacco described the Mass as “beautiful,” while fellow congregant Michael Kotwicki said he hoped the sunrise liturgy would become “a new tradition for us at Nativity of Our Lord Parish.”
Although the pre-dawn setup required substantial planning and coordination, the effort paid off, said Father Watson.
“I saw people at that Mass that I haven’t seen in a year. Some came to holy Communion with tears in their eyes,” he said. “That made it all worth it.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103