Churches hold services and festivities to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus

The Power of Praise group performs during Spirit of Faith Christian Center’s Easter service last year. This year’s event will be held at Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at 11 a.m.

File photo
Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.

Christian faithful around the world celebrate the central article of their faith this Sunday — the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, better known as Easter.

For many Christian denominations, including Roman Catholics, Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer and penance that helps prepare believers to commemorate the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter observances — typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches — are marked by joyful music and prayer.

The pinnacle of the Christian faith, Easter reaffirms that, through his death, burial and resurrection, Jesus purchased for all who believe in him eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Nearly one third of the world’s population — or about 2.2 billion people — identified themselves as Christian in 2010, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Here is a partial list of Easter services and related events in the area:

EASTER SUNRISE WORSHIP SERVICE: Celebration Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. today, followed by traditional sanctuary service at 10 a.m., Kanapaha Presbyterian Church, 6221 SW 75th Terrace. (378-9080)

EASTER CELEBRATION: Event featuring fun, food, games, crafts and an Easter egg hunt, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, Celebration United Methodist Church, 9501 SW Archer Road. Free. (367-8005)

SECOND ANNUAL EASTER EGG HUNT: Hunts for all kids, plus free food, cake walk, face painting, live music, door prizes and more, 10:30 a.m. today, Abundant Grace Community Church, 12505 NW 39th Ave. Free. (337-8311)

EASTER EGG HUNT: Community egg hunt, 11 a.m. today, Suwannee River Moose Family Center 325, 8231 NW 167th Place, Fanning Springs. (

SUNRISE SERVICE: Sunrise service Sunday beginning with breakfast at 6:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall, followed by service at 7:15 a.m., Eden Baptist Church, 2405 SE County Road 219A, Hawthorne. (481-2958)

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER SERVICES: Easter services celebrating the Resurrection, 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday traditional service, 9 a.m. contemporary service, First United Methodist Church, 1126 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Free. (537-0207)

EASTER SERVICE: Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, 10:45 a.m. Sunday, First Baptist Church of Alachua, 14005 NW 146th Ave., Alachua. Free. (386-462-1337)

EASTER CELEBRATION: Annual citywide Easter celebration, all are welcome, featuring music and theater, free candy for children, bounce house, fire truck, costumed characters and more, 11 a.m. Sunday, Spirit of Faith, Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Free. (

EASTER SERVICES: Easter Vigil, 9 p.m. to midnight today, followed by an Easter Feast Parish Potluck, midnight to 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Easter Sunday Mass times: 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (Spanish Mass), 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center, 1738 W. University Ave.

HOLY WEEK: Easter Vigil, 8:15 p.m. today. Easter Sunday Mass times: 7 a.m. (Sunrise Mass), 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. (upper hall), 6:30 p.m. Feast of Divine Mercy Holy Hour, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Holy Faith Catholic Church, 747 NW 43rd St.

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