The change of seasons, between Winter and Spring, is marked with celebration for many cultures throughout the world. Bonds of tribal membership are strengthened and cared for through traditions of religious ceremony; often symbolic song, prayer, feasting, dance and colorful gifts, repeated year after year.
The celebration of Easter, for Christians, is significant, none more so than for the tribe known as the Moravian Church; aka Unitas Fratrum, Evangelische Brudergemeente, IGLESIA MORAVA, Jednota Braterska, Bra’lu drandze, Brodremenigheden, and more.
Now, miles and years from the church of my youth and childhood, the memory of our traditional celebration of Easter at the restored 1770s "Moravian mission to the Delaware Indians" in the Ohio Territory lingers in my mind and imagination.
Our family would rise in the dark, bundle-up in winter clothes and drive to Schoenbrunn Village. Armed with flashlights, we'd gather in front of a huge log-cabin church, it's door open slightly to the allow the exit of heat and smell of wood fire, mingled with coffee and hot chocolate prepared to warm choirs, brass instruments, and local pastors who had gathered long before our arrival.
At a given hour, choirs and pastors took their places to announce "The Lord is Risen!" to which all would respond in unison "He is risen indeed!" followed by glorious music as the sky began to glow and birds awoke. The ceremony was short, interrupted with a walk to "God's Acre" (cemetery), accompanied along the path with choirs of brass and voice, interspersed so that their music called and answered each other during our walk.
At God's Acre, standing among ancient gravestones, more music and prayers brought joyful conclusion. I could not stand with head bowed however. Instead I'd watch this magnificent panorama overhead, as golden rays of sun unfold behind distant hills, then creep down from the tops of trees around us to the cabin roofs, to finally land on the path for our return home (where hot chocolate is promised).
Sunrise and Son rise are synonymous.