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Easter celebrations


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POSTED: Saturday, April 11, 2009

This is the great hallelujah weekend for Christians as they celebrate the beginning of their religion with Easter services and festivals. Many islanders will rise early to observe the custom of a sunrise celebration. The timing relives the Gospel account of the first Christians who went early to the place where Jesus was buried and found the tomb empty.

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Puowaina crater, or Punchbowl, has been the scene of an ecumenical sunrise service for 108 years. In recent years, worshippers have gathered at other parks and beaches for outdoor events.

Here are some of the Easter happenings planned for Oahu.

Punchbowl

The gates of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific will be open at 5 a.m. for the 6:15 a.m. service. The program includes music by the Royal Hawaiian Band and the First Tongan United Methodist Church Choir and Ron Allen, professor at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, speaking on “;I Want to See Jesus.”; Direct bus service is available after 5 a.m. from the Alapai Street terminal.

Kakaako

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church will sponsor a 6 a.m. sunrise service at Kakaako Waterfront Park. A 9:30 a.m. Easter Festival service will be held at the church, 1404 University Ave.

International Baptist Church will sponsor a 7:30 a.m. Resurrection morning service at the Kakaako Waterfront Park pavilion. There will also be a 10:30 a.m. worship service at the church, 20 Dowsett Ave.

Magic Island

Calvary Chapel Honolulu will hold its annual Easter celebration at 6 a.m. at Magic Island with hula, music by the worship band, a message by the Rev. Bill Stonebraker and baptisms in the lagoon. Services will be at 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. at the church, 98-1016 Komo Mai Drive, Aiea.

Waikiki

Queen's Surf Beach, across from the Honolulu Zoo, will be the setting of a 5:30 a.m. sunrise service sponsored by St. Clement's Episcopal Church. A 9 a.m. Festival Choral Eucharist will be held at the church at 1515 Wilder Ave.

Unity Church of Hawaii will sponsor a 9 a.m. Easter festival at the Waikiki Shell, with a message by Rev. Sky St. John and music by Alethea Train, Anita Hall, Kristian Lei, Stefan Mitchell, Scott Wallace and the Unity Choir.

Hawaii Kai

Four East Oahu congregations will sponsor a community Easter Sunrise service at 6 a.m. at Maunalua Bay Beach Park. Attendees are urged to bring beach chairs. Pastor Dennis Takata will speak. Participating are Hawaii Kai Community Church, Grace Community Church, Hawaii Kai Hope Chapel and Hawaii Kai United Church of Christ.

East Oahu

A 6 a.m. sunrise service at Halona Blow Hole parking lot sponsored by Nuuanu Congregational Church will feature Kym Kanenaka, Wayne Kobayashi and Donnie Ann Nakamura with Easter messages.

Leeward

Maili Beach Park will be the setting of a 9 a.m. “;Easter Son-rise”; service featuring an enactment of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus by a cast of 40 players. The service is sponsored by Ark of Safety Christian Fellowship.

Central Oahu

The public is invited to attend the Army's Easter sunrise service at 6 a.m. at the Schofield Barracks Stoneman Stadium. Col. Jack Van Dyken, U.S. Army Pacific Command chaplain, will speak, and the Wheeler Chapel Hand Bell Choir, U.S. Navy Tradewinds Woodwind Quintet and Schofield Barracks choirs will perform special music. Attendees should enter through McNair Gate. Drivers are required to present driver's license, vehicle registration and insurance documents, and each occupant must have photo ID.

North Shore

Waimea Beach Park is the site of the 6:30 a.m. “;Easter Son-rise”; service sponsored by North Shore Christian Fellowship. “;Dying to Live”; will be the theme of testimony by Manny and Gwen Vierra, whose son was killed in a 2006 traffic accident. A special children's program will feature illusionist Mike Villoria. A free breakfast will follow. A shuttle service will be provided from parking at Waimea Valley.

Other Easter services

» Catholic Diocese. Bishop Larry Silva will preside at the Easter Vigil at 8 p.m. today at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, 712 N. School St. and at the 10:30 a.m. Mass tomorrow at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral. All Catholic parishes will hold Easter services.

» Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St. The youth group will lead the 6 a.m. sunrise service. Other services will be at 7, 9 and 11:30 a.m. with an egg hunt after the 9 a.m. service. The Pohnpei language service will be at 11 a.m.

» First Christian Church of Honolulu, 1516 Kewalo St. A free community breakfast at 9 a.m. will precede the 10:45 a.m. worship, and an egg hunt will follow.

» First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, Koolau Golf Course, 45-550 Kionaole St., Kaneohe. The golf driving range will be the site of contemporary services at 6 and 11 a.m. In the sanctuary, services will be at 7:30, 9 and 10:30 a.m. Shuttle service will be available from Honolulu locations. Call 532-1111 or see the Web page http://www.fpchawaii.org.

» First United Methodist Church, 1020 S. Beretania St. An 8 a.m. breakfast will precede the 10 a.m. service, and an egg hunt will follow it. Tongan-language services will be at 6 a.m. and noon.

» Grace Bible Church will hold Easter worship at 8:30 and 10 a.m. at Dole Cannery Ballroom, 735 Iwilei Road, and at Leeward Community College Theater at 7:30, 9 and 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m.

» John 17:21 Ministry will sponsor a 4 p.m. service at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1350 Hunakai St. Dinner will follow.

» Kaumakapili Church, 766 N. King St., Easter sunrise service is at 6 a.m.; also 8:30 and 10:30 worship services.

» King's Cathedral, Niu Valley Center, 5740 Kalanianaole Highway. A free musical dramatization, “;Indestructible Life,”; will be presented at 7 p.m. today and tomorrow.

» Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St., will observe Easter Vigil at 7:30 p.m. today and Festival Eucharist services at 8 and 10:30 a.m.

» Moanalua Community Church, 4867 Bougainville Drive, at Moanalua Shopping Center. The spring celebration following Easter services will include an 11:30 a.m. egg hunt, games, inflated castles and food.

» New Hope Christian Fellowship will celebrate Easter at the Neal Blaisdell Center with services at 6 p.m. today and 8 and 11 a.m. tomorrow. Nationally known Christian recording artist Michael English will perform.

» Olive United Methodist Church, 108 California Ave., Wahiawa, will hold a 10 a.m. combined worship service.

» St. Andrew's Cathedral, Queen Emma Square. The Great Vigil service will begin at 7:30 p.m. today. Tomorrow there will be a 7 a.m. Holy Eucharist, 8 a.m. Hawaiian Eucharist and 10 a.m. Festival Eucharist with the Cathedral Choir and Brass Ensemble.

» St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, 909 Haumea St., Kapolei. The praise band will provide music for 8:30 and 10 a.m. services. An “;Easter Egg-stravaganza”; will follow with an egg hunt, games and bouncy castle.

» The Salvation Army Kauluwela Mission Corps, 296 N. Vineyard Blvd., will hold a 7 a.m. sunrise service and a 10:45 a.m. Easter celebration service.

Services at Kaneohe Corps, 45-175 Waikalua Road are at 8 and 11 a.m. and at Leeward Corps, 98-612 Moanalua Loop, Aiea, 11 a.m.

» Wahiawa Christian Church, 1710 Royal Palm Drive, Wahiawa. Attendees are invited to bring flowers to place on the cross at the 10:30 a.m. service. Breakfast will be available from 7 to 9 a.m. An egg hunt will follow services.

» Windward United Church of Christ, 38 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kailua. The Chancel Singers with Brass Ensemble will provide music at the 9 a.m. service tomorrow. An egg hunt will follow.

» Word of Life Christian Center, 544 Queen St. A theatrical production, “;Captured by the Cross,”; will be performed at 7 p.m. today and 6 p.m. tomorrow. Free. Children's activities will be provided during performances.