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Sunrise service to mark Easter in Ticonderoga

TICONDEROGA-Fort Ticonderoga is the site of some of America's most significant history. Easter Sunday it will mark one of mankind's most important events.

The fort will host the annual community ecumenical Easter sunrise service at 6 a.m. April 24. The service is sponsored and conducted by the Greater Ticonderoga Clergy Association.

"The service has been a long-established community time of praise and celebration," said Rev. David Hirtle of the Congregational Church in Crown Point. "This year we will gather at 6 a.m. to welcome the day and the celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.

"As in years past, clergy and laity from local churches and worship groups will join together to proclaim the message that is the cornerstone of the Christian faith - Jesus was resurrected from the grave," Hirtle said.

The annual sunrise service has grown dramatically during the past five years, Hirtle noted. It includes music, prayers and a message to share the joy of the Easter Day.

A free-will offering will be taken to benefit the local Minister's Assistance Fund. The fund provides assistance to the families and individuals in the area in need of food, shelter and clothing.

Following the service, people are invited to a time of fellowship and food at the Ticonderoga United Methodist Church on Wicker Street. There will be a free will offering.

"This sunrise breakfast adds to the joy and community spirit found at the service.," Hirtle said. "Plan now to attend. Invite a friend and share the joys of Easter with your community."

For more information, contact Rev. Scott Tyler at the Ticonderoga First United Methodist Church at 585-7995 or Hirtle at the Congregational Church in Crown Point at 597-3398.

The first Easter Sunrise Service recorded took place in 1732 in the Moravian congregation at Herrnhut, in what is now Germany. After an all-night prayer vigil, the Single Brethren, the unmarried men, of the community, went to the town graveyard, God's Acre, to sing hymns of praise to the Risen Saviour. The following year, the whole congregation joined in the service. The sunrise service spread around the world with the Moravian missionaries, who first came to America in 1735.

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