Things to Do

Where to Catch an Easter Sunrise Service Around DC

Celebrate Easter morning at one of these outdoor services in the Washington area.

Photograph by Flickr user anokarina.

Whether you’re celebrating out of faith or for tradition’s sake, a sunrise Easter service can be a moving experience. So, before you fill up on hot cross buns or go searching for chocolate-filled eggs, you can catch an early morning service at one of these DC locations. And for those who don’t celebrate the holiday: You can still enjoy your own contemplative sunrise at one of these DC-area parks.

Just a heads up: Metro doesn’t start until 7 a.m. on Sunday, so early birds will want to drive, walk, bike, or take ride share to these services. Sunrise on Sunday, April 9, will be 6:41 a.m. in the Washington, DC, area.

The Lincoln Memorial

A tradition in Washington for more than 40 years (and previously on our great Washington bucket list), this Easter sunrise event—considered one of the largest in the nation—attracts thousands to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the perfect perch to view a blazing sunrise over DC’s stone-white monuments. This year’s service, which starts at 6:30 a.m., will be hosted by National Community Church, a Pentecostal congregation with campuses in DC and Virginia. A grammy-nominated Gospel artist, Todd Dulaney, will also perform. Bring blankets or folding chairs to sit on, as the event’s 1,700 chairs fill up quickly.

2 Lincoln Memorial Circle, NW, at 6:30 a.m.


Alexandria Waterfront Park

Watch the sun’s rays reflect off the waters of the Potomac River with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation, which will host a 6:30 a.m. service at Alexandria’s Waterfront Park.

1 Prince St., Alexandria, at 6:30 a.m.

Old Town Square in Fairfax City

Enjoy your sunrise with free coffee and donuts in hand at this service hosted by Fairfax United Methodist Church. The congregation’s youth will lead the ceremony which begins at 6 a.m. in Fairfax’s Old Town Square.

10415 North St., Fairfax, at 6 a.m.

Luther Place near Thomas Circle

Relish in the peace of the morning at Luther Place, an ELCA Lutheran Church, which will host a “simple liturgy of music, scripture, and prayer” on its landscaped gothic church grounds near Thomas Circle at 7:30 a.m.

1226 Vermont Ave., NW, at 7:30 a.m.

Photograph by Flickr user Alan Kotok.

Arlington National Cemetery

This nondenominational sunrise service at the cemetery’s memorial amphitheater officially begins at 6:30, but you’ll want to arrive at least fifteen minutes early to catch a morning prelude concert from the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” Following the music, Chaplain Maj. Gen. Thomas E. Solhjem, the army’s Chief of Chaplains, will deliver the Easter message.

Visitors without a Department of Defense ID should enter the cemetery via Memorial Avenue and park at the Welcome Center parking garage, where a shuttle will take visitors to the event. Seating is first-come, first-serve.

1 Memorial Ave., Fort Myer (Arlington), at 6:15 a.m.

Nalls Produce in Alexandria

Enjoy the sunrise while surrounded by fresh flowers at this Alexandria produce market, where you’ll be able to help decorate a cross in buds. The 7 a.m. service, hosted in coordination with the Kingstowne Communion, a United Methodist Church, will feature a live band as well as complimentary coffee and pastries.

7310 Beulah St., Franconia at 7 a.m.

Ida Lee Park in Leesburg

Watch the morning come to life from the fields of Ida Lee Park, where Leesburg United Methodist Church will lead an Easter worship service at 6:30 a.m.

60 Ida Lee Dr. NW, Leesburg, at 6:30 a.m.

The front lawn at First Presbyterian Arlington

Gather outside First Presbyterian’s sanctuary for a 7:30 a.m. service on the church’s front lawn, where an Easter egg hunt will later take place at 12:20 p.m.

601 N. Vermont St., Arlington, at 7:30 a.m.

The churchyard at St. George’s Episcopal Church

Sing hymns and break bread with St. George’s Episcopal Church, which will host a sunrise service in its quiet Bloomingdale churchyard at 6:30 a.m.

160 U St., NW, at 6:30 a.m.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor