During covid I attended one of the SSJE sunrise services on line, and so
I expected something similar--a few people standing in the cold on Memorial Drive for a hour or watching the 'New Fire" kindled and waiting for the sun. NO WAY. When I stepped into the chapel at 4:15 it was filling up for a 4:30 start. When I stepped out of the chapel at 7:45 (yes, 3 plus hours later) I was filled with contentment and peace. Scripture readings, hymn and psalmody singing, prayers, an adult baptism, a sermon, communion…. Or to quote the program: Kindling the New Fire, Vigil of Lessons, Holy Baptism, The Holy Eucharist. The candles we had been holding for much of the service had gone out as the sun shone through the windows; we had rung our little bells and shouted Alleluia.
I have referred to this as a sunrise service because all my life, that's what it's been called. SSJE calls it 'The Great Vigil of Easter.' Fine with me. Life is full of resurrections, new hopes, good possibilities. The sun always rises whether we see it or not. We just have to be vigil.